In 2012, no one in Major League Baseball had fewer home runs than the San Francisco Giants, who knocked just 103 balls over the fence in the regular season. And yet, Pablo Sandoval entered the record books on Wednesday night when he hit three homers in a single World Series game.
Panda lead the Giants to an 8-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the fall classic.
Sandoval joins a pretty decent group of people to have mashed three taters in a single Fall Classic game: Babe Ruth (twice), Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols.
You may add the Panda to this list now. But the real crazy part? Two of those homers came off of Tigers ace and Justin Verlander, who might well be the best pitcher in baseball. OK, maybe crazier: Pablo Sandoval is the first player in baseball history to hit three homers in his first three at-bats in a World Series game.
Actually, you know what's crazier than that? He did it in the first five innings.
The first homer came in the first. Verlander was forced to face Sandoval again in the third inning, when Angel Pagan doubled to left by smoking his ball down the third base line, hitting the bag and sending the ball screaming into the outfield. Marco Scutaro put together a beautiful at bat up next, singled and drove in Pagan.
Sandoval smoked a 2-0 pitch to left field that left a stunned Verlander saying "wow."
His third homer, on a 1-1 pitch against Al Alburquerque, left the whole world saying the same thing.