If you'd told me that they'd be playing the Detroit Tigers..the team of Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera...in the World Series and that Zito would be pitching against Justin Verlander. I would have laughed. It wouldn't have been a pretty laugh either.
That's my extra long-winded way of saying that just two days after Smunch and I witnessed that epic Game 7 at AT&T Park, the Giants won the first game of the World Series against the mighty Detroit Tigers, behind another stellar start by Barry Zito. I think it was the 14th start of his in a row that the team won. They never lost another one that Barry started after the one Smunch and I went to.
I don't tweet. But if I did, perhaps I would have cottoned onto the #RallyZito hashtag. I don't really know. I'm far too old fashioned for such things. Look at me. I have a BLOG for goodness sakes!
Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs that night...two of them off Verlander. As Mike Krukow would say, "Ownage is ownage." Pablo "Kung Fu Panda" Sandoval OWNS Justin Verlander. It's as simple as that. It spawned silly pictures, like this one:
And the rest of the series? Well...It was all just about as mindblowing as Barry Zito, actually. On Monday, Smunch and I were there to see if our team could make it. Less than a week later, on Sunday, in fact, they were the World Champions. By Halloween, there was a parade down Market Street.
What? What just happened???
Our team wasn't supposed to make it out of the NLDS after being down 2 games in a best of five series and heading out to Cincinnati. Our team wasn't supposed to make it past the NLCS when they were down 3-1 in a best of 7...where they were still in St. Louis and would have to win three games in a row. And then there was gonna be Justin Verlander. Heh.
Madison Bumgarner shut the Tigers out 2-0 in Game 2 on Thursday. He'd struggled at the end of the season, but held it together for this one big night. The Giants left for three games in Detroit. On Saturday, for Game 3, I made "Rally Enchiladas" in honor of Ryan Vogelsong's favorite pre-game dinner. Gosh, they were yummy.
Of course, it wasn't just the starting pitching. There were so many amazing defensive plays. How 'bout that relay Gregor Blanco made from left field, missing his cutoff man, but hitting Scutaro who was backing up Brandon Crawford at third, then Scutaro throwing a shot to Posey to tag Prince Fielder out at the plate? How about any number of Brandon Crawford's crazy defensive plays? I swear that guy's arms have elastic in them. And Blanco was plain incredible out there too.
So, that left Sunday, when I decided it was only appropriate to have hot dogs and apple pie with our baseball. Now all I need is a Chevrolet.
The game was a whole lot more tense than the previous three. If you peek at the score in that photo of the TV, it's the top of the 8th with the score tied 3-3. But our friend Marco Scutaro, Mr. Clutch, came through yet again. DH, Ryan Theriot got himself his first hit of the game and had been sacrificed over to second. Somehow, you just knew, when Scutaro came to the plate that this game had an excellent chance of being over. I've never seen anyone on the planet hit in the clutch like Scutaro. So, when he hit the ball, I had a lot of fun watching the look of joy on Theriot's face as his hand slid across homeplate.
Then in was Sergio Romo's turn. He struck out two before Miguel Cabrera came up. Romo throws a wicked slider and he'd thrown all sliders until his last pitch to Cabrera...a fastball that Cabrera watched as it flew over the plate.
SWEEP. And then there was a parade on Halloween. I wasn't there...again. It was Halloween. I had pumpkin math to teach and a costume parade to attend. My favorite kids will always trump my favorite team...