And so the narrative went: Barry Zito going up against Justin Verlander? None chance. No way would the Giants win here.
But Pablo Sandoval happened. Along with the rest of the Giants offense. They chased Verlander out of the game after four innings and 98 pitches.
Zito, though? He went five and two-thirds, giving up only a run. One walk, three strikeouts.
And that was the new narrative they were building for themselves.
Pablo Sandoval only started one game as a position player in 2010 — DHing at a game in Texas. Barry Zito was left off the roster completely. And now? They’re the biggest factors in game one this time around.
Verlander’s been filthy. He’s a damn good pitcher and everyone around knows it. I was there when he and the Tigers eliminated the Oakland A’s this postseason. He constantly brings out those good starts.
But something went wrong this time. He went four innings and gave up five runs — all of them earned.
And to add to that, Zito hit an RBI single off of him.
Then there’s Pablo Sandoval. Three home runs in three at-bats, man, have yourself a field day out there.
The runs allowed were low and the runs scored were relatively high. The rest of the cast was there, helping push the narrative along, in its own, bizarre way. And by that, I mean, “Not the way ESPN drew it up.”
The defense was on, especially Gregor Blanco’s. Marco Scutaro was his little hit machine self. And Buster Posey, what a guy.
Tim Lincecum went two and a third, striking out five and shutting the Tigers down. No baserunner allowed. Cody Ross backwards may spell “Ssory Doc”, but Tim Lincecum backwards spells “SILENCE, HATERS.”
Zito and Sandoval have gotten flak from everywhere in their career. Zito for his high salary, Sandoval for his weight. But tonight, they broke the typical narrative. The salary and the weight weren’t the big picture. It was them and nothing else.
That’s how stories go, right?