- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

That’s why Gregor Blanco is out there.

The defensive whiz just made a diving catch in left field to rob Miguel Cabrera of a hit with a runner on in the third inning. Cabrera put a good swing on the ball, just didn’t get it up in the air. Hard line drive. Good fortune for Giants starter Barry Zito.

Blanco made a spectacular catch in right-center to save Matt Cain’s perfect game in June. He’s an outstanding defender in the outfield, and we just saw why he starts for San Francisco.

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So far, Barry Zito has the Tigers off stride a bit. He’s been able to get inside on the right-handers and he’s using all his pitches. Getting groundballs and keeping the ball off the barrel of the bat.

Justin Verlander threw a nasty curve to get Buster Posey on a called third strike to end the first inning. Then he got Hunter Pence to wave at a slider for strike three to start the second. The reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner appears to be settling in, finding his breaking ball.

This is the fourth time that Cy Young winners have squared off in Game 1 of the World Series. Zito won his AL Cy Young Award with Oakland 10 years ago. The guys on FOX said that’s the longest gap for a pitcher between winning the Cy Young and making his first World Series start.

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It’s the All-Star game revisited! Pablo Sandoval hit a bases-loaded triple off Verlander in the first inning of the All-Star game in Kansas City back in July.

Now, Sandoval has a World Series homer off the Tigers‘ ace.

Verlander struggled through a five-run first inning in the All-Star game, throwing 35 pitches. The National League won 8-0, giving the Giants home-field advantage in this World Series.

Turns out, Verlander has a nemesis.

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Sandoval’s homer was the first all season off Verlander on an 0-2 pitch, FOX says.

The Giants ranked last in the majors this year with 103 home runs.

Story Continues →