Pablo Sandoval hits a solo homer to center off Justin Verlander on an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Giants lead 1-0.
High fastball, 95 mph. Wow! Amazing that he was able to get on top of that pitch. Quick hands. Very talented hitter.
Barry Zito’s average fastball velocity ranks among the slowest in the majors, and he’s not throwing any harder to start the World Series. The veteran lefty was hitting 84-85 mph on the radar gun, but he hit his spots when he needed to in the first inning.
Omar Infante singled with one out and Zito walked Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera on a close 3-2 pitch. With two runners on, Prince Fielder popped out on a tough pitch down and away, and ALCS MVP Delmon Young grounded into a force play on a down-and-in breaking ball.
Verlander’s first three pitches were 94 mph fastballs. He looks as though he’s trying to settle himself down a bit and calm his emotions as he fiddles with his glove and the rubber.
Here we go! All set for baseball’s 108th World Series.
Barry Zito on the mound for the Giants.
It’s a late afternoon start on the West Coast, so it will be interesting to see if early shadows on the field are a factor. If so, they could make it awfully tough for the Giants to catch up with Verlander’s heat.
Gerry Davis is the plate umpire. Generally, the book on him is that he has a fairly tight strike zone. Tougher on pitchers.
That might make things more difficult for Zito. He throws a lot of soft stuff and may need to get a few calls around the corners.
With his team facing a left-hander, Tigers manager Jim Leyland moved second baseman Omar Infante up to No. 2 in the lineup and dropped catcher Alex Avila to eighth.