That was quite probably the greatest Game 1 of the World Series any of us could have hoped for. Actually, probably the greatest game, period, that any of us could have hoped for.
More than a few people wrote off this game as a certain loss for the Giants and that wasn’t unreasonable – they were facing Justin Verlander, for God’s sake. When the A’s faced JV in the final game of the ALDS, I said more than a few times, “It’s a verb. To Verlander. The A’s are about to get Verlander’d.” And get Verlander’d they did.
The game we saw was a very different game, indeed. Barry Zito stood tall while Verlander only lasted four innings and, really, his performance was a footnote compared to the performance he played a role in: Pablo Sandoval’s three home run night. Three home runs. That is a lot of home runs. Like, the number of home rums that might make me blink and pinch myself and wonder, “Am I dreaming?”
I actually wondered that a couple of times during last night’s game. And it shouldn’t have felt as crazy as it did – the Giants just defeated the defending World Champions in the NLCS by a final of 9-0 and are every bit a solid matchup for the Tigers. But it did feel a little surreal. In a good way. A very, very good way.
There’s still a good deal more work to be done and baseball to be played, but that is a Game 1 that none of us will be forgetting any time soon, I think.
Oh, and can I just throw something out there? In a game with a lot of good candidates for “favorite moment”, my favorite moment was undoubtedly Verlander’s expression when his pitching coach came out to the mound. That was priceless. Seriously, seriously priceless.
Classic, JV. Classic.
p.s. I know Hunter Pence has gotten his fair share of needling for naming his bats, but I think it’s awesome. (Of course I do.) If I were a baseball player, I would totally name my bats. Sure, my names would probably be, eh, slightly different than his, but still.
Move over, Manic Pixie Dream Girl. We have the Manic Pixie Dream Bat.