A look at some notable facts and figures from the San Francisco Giants' 8-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the World Series at AT&T Park on Wednesday night. Pablo Sandoval became the fourth player to hit three home runs in a World Series game. Babe Ruth accomplished the feat in 1926 and '28, while Reggie Jackson famously hit three in Game 6 of the '77 Series. Albert Pujols did it last year in the Cardinals' Game 3 win over the Rangers. Sandoval is the first to do it in Game 1 of the Fall Classic and the only one to homer in each of his first three plate appearances.
The winner of Game 1 has gone on to win eight of the past nine and 13 of the past 15 World Series. Since World Series play began in 1903, 61.7 percent of Game 1 winners have won the championship. Further lending favor to the Giants, the club with home-field advantage has won 21 of the past 26 World Series. Detroit's Justin Verlander is just the fifth pitcher to take the loss in the All-Star Game and in Game 1 of the World Series in the same season. Texas' C.J. Wilson did so last year. Verlander's four-inning start was his shortest in a game not delayed by weather since June 16, 2009. Sandoval singled in his fourth at-bat, giving him 13 total bases. That's the third most for a single playoff game behind Pujols' 14 in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series and Bob Robertson's 14 in Game 2 of the 1971 National League Championship Series. Sandoval's first-inning home run was the first Verlander surrendered on an 0-2 count this year, and the fifth he's allowed in his career. The Giants have won 14 straight games started by Barry Zito. Zito is 9-0 with a 3.46 ERA during that span.
Game 1 featured three former Cy Young Award winners on the mound in Verlander, Zito and Tim Lincecum. The only other time that's happened in World Series history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, was in Game 3 of the 1983 Fall Classic between the Orioles and Phillies. Steve Carlton started for Philadelphia, while Mike Flanagan started for Baltimore and was relieved by Jim Palmer. Sandoval's six homers this postseason are tied for the second most in San Francisco history during a single postseason. Barry Bonds had eight and Rich Aurilia had six in 2002. Sandoval is hitting. 370 (20-for-54) with 13 RBIs in the Giants' 13 games this postseason. Sandoval joined Benny Kauff and Jeff Kent as the only Giants with multihomer games in the World Series. Kauff hit two in Game 4 of the 1917 Series, while Kent did the same 10 years ago Wednesday in Game 5 of the 2002 Fall Classic. The Giants are the first team in Major League history to have their starting pitchers drive in runs in four consecutive games. They are also just the third team to have an RBI from a pitcher in any four games in the same postseason. Zito's two RBIs are the most in a single postseason by a pitcher since Brett Myers drove in three runs for the Phils in 2008. Zito is also the first pitcher to have an RBI in Game 1 of the World Series since Mike Cuellar for the Orioles in 1969. The Giants' 106 World Series games are surpassed only by the Yankees' 225 and the Cardinals' 112. In San Francisco's 13 games this postseason, the team that scored first is 11-2. The Giants are 7-1 this postseason when scoring first. Five of the seven outs recorded by Lincecum were strikeouts. Only two other pitchers, Todd Worrell in 1985 and Brendan Donnelly in 2004, have recorded five or more strikeouts when facing seven batters or fewer in a postseason game. Marco Scutaro's 11-game hitting streak is a Giants postseason record. Irish Meusel had a hit in 11 straight postseason games in 1921-22, but it was over two postseasons.
|Justin Verlander||Detroit Tigers||2012|
|C.J. Wilson||Texas Rangers||2011|
|Dock Ellis||Pittsburgh Pirates||1971|
|Don Newcombe||Brooklyn Dodgers||1949|
|Mort Cooper||St. Louis Cardinals||1942|
Sandoval set another Giants record by driving in at least one run in his sixth consecutive postseason game. The Major League record is eight, held by the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez and Lou Gehrig and the Phillies' Ryan Howard, who is the only one to accomplish the feat in a single postseason. The 38 pitches Verlander needed to get through the third inning were more than he threw in any inning this season. Before Zito's RBI single in the fourth inning, Verlander had only given up one RBI to a pitcher in his career. That was to the Phils' Adam Eaton on June 17, 2006. Both home runs Verlander allowed to Sandoval came with two outs. Verlander had allowed only home run with two outs this season, to the Orioles' Matt Wieters on Aug. 17. Sandoval's three-homer game was only the second in the history of AT&T Park, which opened in 2000. The first to do it was the Dodgers' Kevin Elster on April 11, 2000, the first game in the ballpark. Game 1 marked Zito's first start in the World Series. Zito has won five of his past six starts vs. the Tigers, pitching to a 3.32 ERA during that span. Miguel Cabrera has reached base in each of the 21 postseason games he has played with the Tigers, a franchise record. Angel Pagan went 2-for-4 in Game 1 and is now a career .560 hitter against Detroit. Tigers right-hander Jose Valverde is only the second reliever in postseason history to allow at least two runs in fewer than one inning three times in the same postseason. Tom Gordon did so in 2004 for the Yankees. Valverde is the first pitcher since 1987 to face five hitters or fewer while allowing four hits in a World Series game. Valverde entered Game 1 in the seventh inning, the earliest he has pitched in a game since Aug. 22, 2006, also at AT&T Park when he was with the D-backs. Detroit's Jhonny Peralta homered in the ninth inning, giving him three home runs this postseason -- the most in any postseason in his career. Only seven other players in Tigers history have hit at least three homers in a postseason. Verlander became the first pitcher in Tigers history and the 35th in big league history to make multiple starts in the World Series. Prince Fielder's Game 1 start made him and his father, Cecil Fielder, the 22nd father-son combination in Major League history to have each appeared in a World Series (Cecil won a championship with the Yankees in 1996). The last duo to join the exclusive list were Chris Duncan (son of Dave Duncan of the 1972 A's) and Preston Wilson (son of Mookie Wilson of the 1986 Mets), both of whom played for the Cardinals in 2006.
Mike Fiammetta and Jake Kaplan are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.