(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Ten thousand years from now, when aliens descend on our ruined planet, they will discover footage of Game One of the 2012 World Series, and, after comparing it to unearthed baseball records, will wonder what sorcery led to Justin Verlander and Barry Zito switching bodies on a dark night at AT&T Park, what possible incantations could strip Tim Lincecum of his starting pitcher skills only to resurrect him as a relief master. They’ll see a five-game winning streak when the games counted the most and know that unearthly powers were at work.
Verlander gave up five earned runs in this one, including a solo home run courtesy of Pablo Sandoval on his 13th pitch of the game (witchcraft?) and another Sandoval home run in the third. To add insult to sorcery, Barry Zito singled in a run off of Verlander in the fourth, which was his final inning of work. The J-Man did strike out four, but that came with six hits and the aforementioned runs. Jose Valverde continued to pitch poorly while inhabiting his own body - he surrendered two runs and could get only one out before handing things off to Joaquin Benoit.
Barry Zito (5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) wasn’t content to make things too easy and put two men on with one out in the first inning. But having made his $127 million deal with the Devil, Zito worked his way out of the jam but getting Prince Fielder to pop out and Delmon Young to ground out right after that. He got into another jam in the sixth after he gave up three hits and a run, but relief ace (?) Tim Lincecum shut that down and added 2.1 innings of perfect relief, during which he struck out five batters and may or may not have attempted to summon Asmodeus onto the Earthly Plain.
Detroit made things interesting in the top of the ninth and scored two more runs off of Geroge Kontos, but as you might have gathered by now, it wasn’t enough.
In fact, Pablo Sandoval was far beyond beast mode in this one and achieved a Power Tier not seen since the First War for the Crystal Throne - 4/4, 3 HR, 4 RBI. If Sandoval and Marco Scutaro (2/4, 2 H, 2 RBI) continue to support solid pitching with solid hitting, well, based on my projections, the Giants will be in a great position to keep winning.