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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.

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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.

Story Continues →