Giants and Panda still red hot
In 2010, the San Francisco Giants won their first ever World Championship (in San Francisco), taking that series in five games against the favored Texas Rangers. With a star-studded cast of hurlers, the Giants surrendered only 12 runs and pitched two shut-outs in the Fall Classic.
This year, the Giants have picked up where they left off. Fueled by, the return of Buster Posey, a re-charged Barry Zito, and a killer Panda, the Giants are stomping on teams to get that second World Championship.
On Wednesday night, the Giants started the 108th World Series in similar fashion, beating the Detroit Tigers 8-3 in an epic Game One. 2002 American League (AL) Cy Young winner Barry Zito battled the 2011 AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, giving up only one run in 5.2 innings of work to Verlander’s six runs in four innings, to win the duel. Zito even added a RBI in the fourth, driving in Brandon Belt for the Giants fifth run of the game. Zito, who prior to this year had not pitched up to expectations, was not included on the Giants 2010 World Series roster.
Zito currently holds a 1.69 ERA in the post-season, proving his days on the mound may not be over.
Backing up Zito and the rest of the rotation is returning catcher Buster Posey. Posey who missed most of the 2011 season due to an injury proved his value when he smashed a grand slam against the Reds in a deciding Game Five of the NLDS. Posey has hit two homeruns in the postseason and driven in seven runs. Wednesday night he was .500 at the plate against the Tigers. Newly acquired Marco Scutaro (Colorado) has provided the Giants with some extra offense, batting .365 in the post season. Scutaro also batted .500 in Game One against the Tigers.
But the story of the Giants 2012 post-season might just be the unleashing of the Panda. Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed “Kung Fu Panda” clubbed three homeruns in Game One, joining only three others : Babe Ruth (1926, 1928) , Reggie Jackson (1977), and Albert Pujols (2011), in Major League history to achieve the same feat. Sandoval went a perfect 4-4 with 4 RBIs, becoming the star of Game One.
If Game One is any indicator of the series outcome, then the 2012 Giants will prove the old notion that history can repeat itself.
By: Karen Willdermood
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