The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Why Giants Fans Shouldn't Panic About Game 1

Pitcher Justin Verlander has great postseason numbers, but Giants fans should remain hopeful.




    The San Francisco Giants will face one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball Wednesday night in Game 1 of the World Series.

    The numbers don't lie. In 24.1 postseason innings pitched, Verlander is 3-0 with a 0.74 earned-run average and just 10 hits given up. He also has held opponents to a .122 batting average and a minuscule 0.62 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched).

    Despite Verlander's great postseason numbers, here's a few reasons why Giants fans shouldn't panic:

    •    Verlander gave up five earned runs in the first inning of the 2012 All-Star Game. One of those big hits came from Pablo Sandoval, who hit a three-run, bases-loaded triple off Verlander in that inning.
    •   Giants’ hitters have shown the ability to turn on a high-velocity fastball. Brandon Belt launched an inside 98-mph fastball out of the ballpark in the eighth inning of Monday’s National League Championship Series Game 7. Similarly, Pablo Sandoval pulled a home run off St. Louis Cardinals flamethrower Mitchell Boggs in the eighth inning of NLCS Game 5 in St. Louis.
    •   Some Giants have had success against Verlander. Leadoff hitter Angel Pagan is 2-for-5 with an RBI against Verlander, and Hunter Pence is 1-for-3 with an RBI. Xavier Nady and Aubrey Huff also have RBIs against Verlander.

    If the Giants can continue to string together quality, scrappy at-bats against Verlander, they should be able to scratch out a few runs. With the big, spacious dimensions of AT&T Park and the humid air knocking the ball down, tonight’s World Series Game 1 could end up being a pitcher’s duel between Verlander and Giants starter Barry Zito

    Zito said at a news conference on Tuesday that he was excited and ready for the challenge.

    "Yeah, it means a lot," Zito said. "Like I said earlier, it's hard to reflect and really become third person about this experience. It's more about right now just going out and preparing for a ballgame against a good team. You know, I can look back on everything when I'm back home."

    The Giants and Tigers will play each other in the World Series starting at 5:07 p.m. The two teams have never battled each other in the World Series.

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