Deflated and shocked after a Game 1 trampling, the Detroit Tigers look to rebound against the San Francisco Giants in Game 2 of the World Series Thursday night at AT&T Park.
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval tied a World Series record with three home runs to lead the Giants to an 8-3 win in Game 1 Wednesday, and Detroit starter Justin Verlander relived his poor starts in the 2006 Series, giving up five earned runs on six hits in four innings of work.
San Francisco’s Barry Zito looked just as sharp as he did in the NLCS, surrendering one run in 5 2/3 innings, while Verlander is now 0-3 in three career starts in the fall classic.
Sandoval joined an elite group with his performance in Game 1, matching Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth, along with Albert Pujols, as the only player to hit three home runs in a single Series game.
Detroit’s offense mustered two runs off of reliever George Santos in the ninth with a two-run home run by the still-hot Johnny Peralta, but compiled eight strikeouts and just two walks as a team.
Detroit’s Doug Fister takes the mound as the Tigers try to avoid a 2-0 hole, which according to MLB.com results in a title 78 percent of time for the leading team.
Fister’s last start was a no-decision 12 days ago in the ALCS, when he pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in the Tigers’ 6-4 win over the New York Yankees in Game 1.
The Giants will answer with Madison Bumgarner, who has struggled with two disappointing starts in the divisional and championship series. Over eight innings in these playoffs, Bamgarner has given up 10 runs, never going beyond the fourth inning in either start. During the regular season, the lefty was second on the team with a 3.37 ERA and posted 16 wins.
The first pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. EDT, and will be broadcast by FOX.
Prediction: The talk has centered around Bumgarner and if San Francisco should even turn to him at this critical juncture of their run. Yet if he finds his regular season groove again, Detroit could be in trouble. The Tigers do not want to fall behind 0-2, and should win tonight with strong games from Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.
Predicted Score: Detroit 6, San Francisco 4