Verlander threw 66 of those pitches in his final two innings. The Giants really put some tough at-bats on him and made him work hard.
Delmon Young’s attempted throw to the plate hit the ground before it even reached the infield.
Wonder what kind of odds you could have gotten in Vegas on Verlander giving up a run-scoring hit to a pitcher?
Zito had a nice bunt single for an RBI in his previous start, Game 5 of the NLCS in St. Louis. Giants pitchers have an RBI in four straight postseason games.
Young fails to run on a tapper right in front of the plate, so Giants catcher Buster Posey quickly tags him and throws to second for an easy double play in the fourth. Prince Fielder had opened the inning with a single.
The Giants are getting the good bounces so far. Angel Pagan hit a chopper toward third base that hit the corner of the bag and kicked into shallow left field for a two-out double in the third inning.
FOX shows Verlander mouthing “Wow” as the ball cleared the wall. Verlander had allowed a total of two runs in his first three postseason starts this year before giving up four runs in the first three innings tonight.
The Giants have won Zito’s last 13 starts, the longest active streak in baseball.
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.
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.
Turns out, Verlander has a nemesis.
The Giants ranked last in the majors this year with 103 home runs.
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.
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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