SAN FRANCISCO — A roly-poly Kung Fu Panda outslugged the Triple Crown winner. An October outcast outpitched the Cy Young ace.
With Pablo Sandoval and Barry Zito taking star turns, this World Series is off to a rollicking start.
Sandoval hit three home runs and joined Reggie Jackson, Babe Ruth and Albert Pujols as the only boppers to do it in the World Series, and the San Francisco Giants jolted Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers 8-3 on Wednesday night in Game 1.
A boisterous AT&T Park crowd — a sea of black and orange outfits — roared as Sandoval connected in his first three at-bats. Popular in the Bay Area for his outgoing personality and unusual physique, he went 4-for-4 and drove in four runs. A Giant panda for sure.
From the first pitch to last, it was basically a perfect game by the Giants. Coming off a Game 7 win over St. Louis on Monday night, they looked totally fresh.
Verlander, the reigning Cy Young winner so dominant in this postseason, looked uncomfortable from the outset and constantly pawed at the mound.
Left off the 2010 World Series roster by the champion Giants, Zito shut out the Tigers until Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera’s RBI single in the sixth. The Giants won for the 14th straight time with Zito starting.
Game 2 is Thursday night, with Doug Fister starting for the Tigers against Madison Bumgarner.