Skip to content

World Series Game 1: Tigers at Giants

Oct 24, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Sparkling AT&T Park hosts Game 1 of the Fall Classic tonight.

It's not the World Series that Nationals fans wanted, but it's still a fantastic matchup between two storied franchises with two rabid fan bases and plenty of big names involved that nobody saw coming. (Oh wait, I actually did predict this exact matchup way back on Opening Day! I trust you'll ignore the 27 other predictions I got wrong in that article.)

In one corner stand the AL champion Tigers, pushed to the brink by the A's in the ALDS before they mowed through the Yankees in a four-game ALCS. Detroit, which reached the World Series in 2006 but hasn't won it since 1984, has the best pitcher in the sport on the mound tonight in Justin Verlander, the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years in Miguel Cabrera and a really deep lineup that also includes $214 million first baseman Prince Fielder.

In the other corner stand the NL champion Giants, who have merely won six elimination games this month to reach the World Series for the second time in three years. They've got a two-time Cy Young Award winner in Tim Lincecum and the NL batting champ (and perhaps MVP) in Buster Posey, but their biggest contributors so far this postseason have been an obscure second baseman named Marco Scutaro and a couple of resurrected veteran pitchers named Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong.

My three keys to the series: 1) Can Verlander be Verlander, which makes him the most dominant pitcher on the planet? 2) Can Posey and Hunter Pence start driving in runs and take the pressure off Scutaro? 3) Will Detroit's shaky closer situation prove significant, or can Verlander and Co. simply finish what they started and leave Jose Valverde out of the equation altogether?

If you're still having trouble getting over the Nats' NLDS loss from nearly two weeks ago, it's time to turn the TV back on and watch baseball again, because there's still nothing like the Fall Classic (no matter your personal rooting interest). I'll certainly be watching, and I'll share my thoughts right here and in the comments section for anyone who would like to join in…

THE 108TH WORLD SERIES – GAME 1
DETROIT TIGERS at SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Where: AT&T Park
Gametime: 8:07 p.m. EDT
TV: Fox
Radio: WTEM (980 AM), XM 178
Weather: Sunny, 58 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to CF

TIGERS
CF Austin Jackson
2B Omar Infante
3B Miguel Cabrera
1B Prince Fielder

Read more »

162 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Traveler8 - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Mark, I hope you bought lottery tickets after the Giants won on Monday – not that often you have such a lucky shot come through (oh, yes, of course, baseball savvy)!

  2. Section 222 - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    I think it was wise to have a moratorium during the NLCS (and you couldn't have just a post on the ALCS, which was boring anyway), but I'm glad the game posts are back for the World Series. This really is an intriguing matchup. Two of the best managers, and GMs, in the game for one thing. So it should be fun and I'll be interested to see what others think of the action. Plus, it's always a pain when the comments exceed 200.

  3. natsfan1a - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Go, GIANTS!! :-)

  4. MicheleS - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    I have been debating who to root for.Tigers: Pros: I mean Justin Verlander is sweet in more in more ways than I can count. Jim Leyland is great. Cons: Delmon Young and i don't like teams that can't field.Giants: Pros: I want to adopt Posey. Hunter pence makes me giggle. They beat STL. Cons: i am so sick of seeing the Beard in the dugout . Blech.

  5. The Fox - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Michele you hit on the 4th point that Mark did not mention,Will the Tigers poor defense cost them the series.

  6. Doc - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Yeah, OK MarkMeister. Gigantes vs. TigersI guess that prediction makes up for your 84 wins for my 98 wins Nats. You get a pass kid.Watchin' Hunter Pence, I'll bet he was cut from his high school track team, if he ever got a tryout—I mean who taught that SOB to run—his granny???Anyhoo, Goooo Gigantes (I've got to be true to my NL roots!

  7. NatsLady - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Found this evaluation of Skole on fangraphs:6. Matt Skole, Washington Nationals (3B)Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the chance to see Skole a handful of times between Georgia Tech and Hagerstown. Early in 2012, I could not help but notice how Skole’s physique had transformed into a true pro body. In game action, he slugged a long home run to centerfield, walked and booted a routine ground ball — a seemingly typical day based on his .291/.426/.559 triple slash line and my familiarity with his defense. As a 5th round pick, the Nationals have a steal in Skole, but don’t mistake his lofty numbers at an advanced age for true impact talent.first basemenhttp://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/newmans-own-best-first-baseman-of-2012/

  8. Gonat - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    peric said… Thanks for posting the article on Purke Gonat.What that means is that two of the three Nats top lefties Solis, and Purke will be having rehab years with an innings limit. Seems likely both could end up spending most of their time in Harrisburg perhaps with an introduction in Potomac. Both spec out as starters.Robbie Ray was also in Potomac. He's the other top lefty. He could end up as a relief specialist … but he'll likely start in Potomac again. If he makes it to Harrisburg that would give the Nats three lefties on the cusp of the majors in 2013.October 24, 2012 4:46 PM _______________________________You are welcome. Its good to see that he should be back on the right path.

  9. Gonat - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    NatsLady, and there's the but on Skole – "but don’t mistake his lofty numbers at an advanced age for true impact talent."

  10. NatsLady - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Congrats to Davey.

  11. natsfan1a - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    In case it might make a difference on the rooting front, Michele, in addition to his on-field talents, Buster seems to be a really nice guy. He's also dad to a set of cute twins. Just thought you might like to know that. :-)

  12. natsfan1a - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Seconding the congrats for Davey.

  13. MicheleS - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    1A. yup cute babies always get me. GO GIGANTES! and I will also add my congratulations to Davey. HI DAVEY! Bribe offer still stands.

  14. Feel Wood - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Would have been beautiful weather for a World Series Game 1 at Nationals Park tonight. :(

  15. baseballswami - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    I always have to root for the NL — real baseball.I think the giants have momentum from playing every day and staying in their routine. They have got a head of steam. I think the layoff affects the Tigers more than anyone predicts it will. AL baseball is not real baseball – can't wait to see Verlander at the plate and hear the whiny Fox announcers complaining about how pitchers aren't real athletes and shouldn't be required to stand in at the plate. Wusses.

  16. peric - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    "but don’t mistake his lofty numbers at an advanced age for true impact talent."If like Tyler Moore, he repeats in Harrisburg and Syracuse? Then he just might be. That's the true test.As for his defense? He and Justin Bloxom now share that onerous distinction. Its bad, but hard work by Marerro and Moore has borne fruit in Harrisburg and then Syracuse. The same should occur at some point for these two.

  17. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    N1a — Inasmuch as you raised the subject of the Posey twins, I thought you might be interested in this: http://www.twinstuff.com/twinsmlb.htm

  18. baseballswami - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Feel Wood – the thought occured to me earlier today – stop it – you are making me cry.

  19. Gonat - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Peric, you are correct. Moore is a great example and if not for TyMo, the Nats are done quickly in the post-season. His Game 1 game-winning 2 RBI hit was beyond clutch.

  20. peric - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Smoker and McGreary two other originally high ceiling prep school left-handers … they are still young maybe the Nats get lucky and they finally meet expectations?

  21. Gonat - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    The Giants have so much against them tonight. Zito and his record with Gerry Davis aren't great. Zito needs the corners and especially inside on righties.

  22. peric - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Would have been beautiful weather for a World Series Game 1 at Nationals Park tonight. :( Rizzo and Johnson are relentless … that's the take away I get from these past three or so years past the leather pants Joy riding Segway guy. Its going to happen more than once.Its why I have to admit, I hadn't considered it, but Drew was spot on with his prediction. They are going for another top pitcher … a lefty who will be head-and-tail better than EJax. David Price would get the Nats a world series or two.Then the question will be how do they rapidly rebuild a minor league system after it will have been emptied for two left-handed starters?That is what I am hoping to see this off season … the kernels of a start at that process.

  23. Get Some Players - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Re who to root for in the Series:Bochy kept Ryan Zimmerman off of the all star team to pick a whining Panda.Never forget.

  24. Joe Seamhead - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    We should be sitting in our seats at Nationals Stadium right now.

  25. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Get Some PlayersDelmon Young.Never Forget.

  26. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    Hey everyone, I think I'm just going to post my thoughts down here instead of in the main body of the blog (if that's OK with you). Seems like a better way to interact.So, my initial thoughts…– Looks like a gorgeous evening in San Francisco.– This is only the fourth-ever World Series matchup between Cy Young Award winners. Who would've thunk it wouldn't be Verlander vs. Lincecum, but Verlander vs. Zito?– Was that the national anthem sung by the American Idol dude? I couldn't tell.

  27. Get Some Players - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Michele SSorry I am totally clueless on Delmon Young. Pretty sure his brother played for the Nats.

  28. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Get some. Do a google search on his arrest in NYC.Mark. Yup that was the american idol winner. I hate fox for sticking us with AI winners and not local iconic singers.

  29. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Oh, Hey, Mark – welcome to the trenches. I am already nauseated by the Verlander man-love. Aren't they supposed to be neutral? I am not saying he isn't good, just — wear a bib if you're going to drool that much, dude. There are other good players on the field. Panda for one :)

  30. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    MicheleS, thanks for reminding everyone. He can blame his rage on alcohol but his words weren't forced out of his mouth.

  31. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Wow, what a swing by Pablo Sandoval. How did he get around on that high, 0-2 fastball from Justin Verlander? That's some serious Panda Power right there to give the Giants a quick 1-0 lead.

  32. Joe Seamhead - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    MicheleS, I hate Fox for many other reasons. A lot of them have to do with baseball games. Their commentary and camera work for both baseball and football sucks.

  33. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    JoeSI want fox to put the pitch count up as well. And a gag on McCarver and Buck.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Mark, did you get my message in the last post

  35. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Steve M: Sorry, hadn't seen that until just now. I went and checked the spam folder and sure enough there were a couple of comments of yours in there. Don't know why that would've happened, but I reinstated them. If you see it happen again, let me know.

  36. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Holy moly! Xavier Nady sighting in the SF dugout. Did he make the WS roster?

  37. Joe Seamhead - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    McCarver is awful. I honestly would rather slip on a bar of soap then listen to him for seven games.

  38. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Somebody needs to steal a base real soon — we need that free taco!!!

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Mark, I didn't even use one of Carlin's words. Thanks for checking on it. My thoughts on Kyle Lohse.

  40. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Swami @ 8:29, awesome post.

  41. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    That dancing older lady for SF is what I will be in about 30 years at Nats Park.

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Wow, Nady is on the roster. That's nuts.

  43. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Little known fact: Gregor Blanco, who just made a fantastic catch to end the top of the third, played for the Nats' Class AAA Syracuse club last year.

  44. sjm308 - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Just for the record, I am also going Giants in 7!Mark: how great to read you here with the "littles"!!Seamhead, put we with you in the McCarver is awful column. Can anyone state things that are more obvious than ole Tim? MicheleS – I am guessing Nady did not make the 25 but like DeRosa, they have him in the dugout just like they have "The Beard" there in uniform.Go Nats!!! (would have been so exciting)

  45. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Mark Zuckerman said… Little known fact: Gregor Blanco, who just made a fantastic catch to end the top of the third, played for the Nats' Class AAA Syracuse club last year. October 24, 2012 9:05 PM ______________________________Little known fact, we were laughing about that in Game 1 vs. the Reds.

  46. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Epic at bat.

  47. Dave - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    I clicked on Mark's link to his prediction post. Let me just give props to ehay2k, who posted as follows:"The Nats go on a tear, with RZimm hitting in 25 consecutive games, and their top three pitchers winning 15 games each. Dominating the now-depleted and dysfunctional NL east, the Nats win 88 games and take the division."Wow. You were 10 games shy of the win total, ehay2k, but pretty much on target the rest of the way. JZimm only had 12 wins, but Gio had 21, so it evens out: the three top starters had a total of 48 wins (average of 16 each).Way to go!

  48. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Who would have thunk this. Scooteroo does it again.

  49. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Can't believe I am watching a baseball game before next season.Anyways, go giants!!!Oh and Section 222, I was kidding about compensation for Duke if you are still wondering.

  50. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    SJM. i have Gigantes in 7

  51. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Michele, what makes you think that Fox picks the National Anthem singers? SF had the woman from Beach Blanket Babylon the other night.Buck mentioned that Verlander was the second draft pick overall in 2004. The Padres had the first pick and took a SS out of high school named Matt Bush. He has a career OPS of .569 in 6 years in the minor leagues. What were they thinking? Scutaro is unconscious.

  52. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    that detroit pitching coaching does not look like he does any work.

  53. Dave - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    It took me about five minutes, but I have the picture synced with the Giants feed via my At Bat app on the iPhone. Feeding into a pair of Bose computer speakers. Much better than having to listen to those Fox goofballs.When they're playing in Detroit, I'll probably sync to the Detroit feed. Both radio crews are great.Those errors and flukes are the kinds of things that make the difference in playoff games. Wow. A couple of really funky bobbles and bounces in this inning.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Oh my, Panda

  55. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    ohmy god! panda homers again. 4-0 giants.

  56. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Holy crap. It's Panda- monium!!!!!!

  57. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    It all started with a ball hitting the base. 2 out rally

  58. Dave - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    I'll also say Giants in 7 games. I will watch this series gladly. I have no particular dog in this hunt, and I want to see a lot of baseball.Now that the Cardinals are dust in the wake of the post-season.

  59. Dave - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Panda broke it open while I was posting. But I'll still say it goes 7 games.

  60. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Uh, you Foxy guys were saying about Verlander?

  61. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    222I guess i thought fox picked the WS anthem singers b/c its always an AI winner or someone from one if their sit coms. I think the team might have more control in LCS.

  62. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Sweet. Fancy. Moses. What is going on here? Marco Scutaro has developed better bat control than Tony Gwynn. Pablo Sandoval now has two homers in two at-bats against Verlander (not to mention a triple in the All-Star Game). And the Giants lead 4-0 after three innings. Unreal.

  63. Oldguy - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Yeah, radio guys: "Verlander won't have to worry about home runs in this park."Pregame interview with Pence:Q. "What do the Giants have to do to win against Detroit?"Pence: "We have to score more runs than they do."Love it.

  64. SonnyG10 - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Go Giants, go National League!

  65. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Whoever picks them– the woman with crap on her head forgot the words to God Bless America and the guy tonight was off- pitch. Surely they can so better than this for the Workd Series?????

  66. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    Just love the stats on Scutaro –he makes contact an unbelievable percentage of the time. How many pitches did he go in that at bat? It was Werthian to be sure.

  67. sm13 - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    Giants seem to have kharma on their side – bounces, broken bats. Panda is coming up very big this postseason. And, Verlander is having all-star game deja vu.

  68. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Michele, could be. Something tells me we'll see Tony Bennett again though. Ok Mark, you predicted Giants vs. Tigers. But Sandoval hitting HRs in his first two ABs? No one in the world could have predicted that.

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    This game is far from over.

  70. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Holy cow, or holy something. Double play.

  71. sm13 - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Another lucky bounce for the Giants. Good awareness by Scutaro, knowing he had to make a tag.

  72. Dave - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Why did that ball bounce up like that on strike 3? I need to pay closer attention.

  73. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Barry Zito has some Lannan in him

  74. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    The Giants play good defense. That will help your luck turn out even better.

  75. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    MicheleS said… Barry Zito has some Lannan in him October 24, 2012 9:26 PM _________________________________Zito is a real soft tosser with 85mph fastball. He isn't a sinker pitcher as he is cutter, fastball, curveball and the occassional changeup.The book on him is a nibbler and deception on throwing multiple pitch types.He gets in trouble when his curveball isn't breaking and he has to rely on the fastball and cutter.

  76. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Zito—-again!!!

  77. Dave - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Wow. Barry Zito RBI.I've been posting the word "wow" a lot tonight, I know. But a score of 5-0 in the fourth inning is really not what I was expecting tonight.

  78. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    http://www.csnwashington.com/baseball-washington-nationals/talk/gio-explains-emotions-game-5Did you all read this from Gio Gonzalez? What a $*%*&^. He totally passed the buck onto the bullpen. If giving up 3 runs in 5 innings is doing your job then I guess he thinks a 5.40 ERA is acceptable. In my book it doesn't matter that he had a lead, his job was to pitch like an Ace not take a 6-0 game and leave it 6-3."You see that I'm a very emotional guy. If you can figure that out, you can figure me out," Gonzalez said. "If [the Cardinals] found a glitch in my system, hey, they found something. But honestly, I left the game winning and we were one out away [from advancing to the National League Championship Series against the Giants]. I don't think there was too much that they figured out. That's how I see it. You are one strike away from the next level. If they figured it out after I was done, that’s pretty impressive."

  79. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Delmon Young's arm is worse the TyMo's!

  80. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Gonat i was thinking figuratively not literally. Lannan july double header against braves. Totally unexpected like Zito tonight.

  81. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    MicheleS put the whammy on Delmon Young!

  82. Dave - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    I kinda think I'm sorry I'm not hearing the Fox feed. Did McCarver say something about Barry Manilow?

  83. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    MicheleS said… Gonat i was thinking figuratively not literally. Lannan july double header against braves. Totally unexpected like Zito tonight. October 24, 2012 9:43 PM __________________________________Gotcha. Thought you were comparing them as lefties that aren't throwing 95.Finesse lefty pitchers that have risen to the occassion is a good comparison.

  84. JaneB - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    I ma stuck on a train back from NYC, but reading this thread (hi Mark!) makes me actually WANT to watch baseball. I feel like I'm missing a good game! It ain't the same on the gameday thing. Tomorrow, I guess.It would have been such fine weather at Nats Park. Trying to forget. Go Gigantes!

  85. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Gonat, surprised by Gio's comments.

  86. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Sweet. Fancy. Moses. Again. Barry Zito makes it 5-0 in the 4th with a two-out, RBI single off a 97 mph fastball. Verlander is probably done for the night in stunning fashion.The only person in the park who's had a worse night: Tim McCarver. Note to the execs at Fox: When you think fans in San Francisco used to chant "Barry!" for Manilow, not Bonds … you probably shouldn't be announcing the World Series anymore. Time to put this guy out to pasture.

  87. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Dave- the crowd is chanting–Bar-ry, Bar-ry. Comment– they have chanted this before in this stadium. Reply- oh, for Barry Manilow??? How about Bonds, you moron.

  88. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    I can jinx a no hitter. Delmon

  89. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Zito representing the National League pitchers- they man up and help their team.

  90. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Young is no match for me. (phone went bananas )

  91. sm13 - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    Zito oupitches Verlander – who'd a thunk it?

  92. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Gonat I'll bite. I'm more disappointed in Gio now. Best to stay humble and eat your pie. 11 walks in 10 innings and a 4.50 ERA in the postseason. 1.700 WHIP and Pitch FX doesn't back up that he was squeezed by the ump.Yah, clearly we know the bullpen blew it in the end but what if Gio got through 6 holding the Cards to 1 or 2 runs instead of barely making it thru 5 giving up 3 runs.

  93. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    I love the game of baseball. Sure , it can break your heart in cold, cruel ways. But it will also surprise you and entertain you.

  94. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Holy Panda 3 HRs

  95. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Oh. My. God… Panda.

  96. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    OK, I will say it WOW

  97. sm13 - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Reggie Panda strikes again!

  98. sm13 - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Well said Swami. Baseball can be pure joy.

  99. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    SWEET FANCY MOSES!!!!The only players who have ever homered three times in a World Series game: Babe Ruth. Reggie Jackson. Albert Pujols. Pablo Sandoval.I'm speechless. I'm without speech.

  100. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    LOL: "The toughest park in which to hit a ball out of." #WorldSeries commentary.

  101. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Not just three times- three straight at bats- the first three of the series. Sweet fancy Moses, indeed.

  102. Natslifer - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    Wow – Mark is speechless??!! I'll take the break to ask everyone a question: my nephew wants to be Jason Werth for Halloween – anyone know where to get the cool beard??

  103. MicheleS - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    Natslifer. Try Party City

  104. Section 135 - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Panda better get tested tonight. He might be hanging around Melky. Can't root for a team of cheaters.

  105. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    Section 135 said… Panda better get tested tonight. He might be hanging around Melky. Can't root for a team of cheaters. October 24, 2012 10:06 PM ___________________________________I was cynical and thinking of writing that also but innocent until proven guilty.

  106. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    When I see 6-0, it just makes me anxious. Post traumatic Nats disorder.

  107. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    ah Panda is a good hitter unlike Melky.By the way, very surprised to see those comments from Gio. I wouldn't be surprised if Gio makes some other comments about what he said today.

  108. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Bang-up job by Barry Zito tonight. And an even better job by Tim Lincecum to come out of the bullpen in what had suddenly become a tenuous moment in the top of the sixth — two on, two out — and struck out Jhonny Peralta to end the inning.The Tigers did score their first run of the night, but that pitch by Lincecum keeps the lead at 6-1 when it could've easily been trimmed to 6-2 or 6-3.

  109. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Buck made an interesting observation on calling Zito a soft-tosser and how the Tigers don't do as well.Lannan in his entire career had quite the record against the Cardinals. He faced them 7 times in his career facing batters like Pujols and his ERA vs the Cardinals was 2.53 with a 1.209 WHIP and a .244 BA against him.Hindsight but the data was there for Rizzo and Davey to put their best 4 out there.Bochy didn't have to use Zito who wasn't on their post-season roster in 2010. Just sayin'.

  110. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Yeah, those things do happen quite easily , don't they?

  111. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Zito has faced the Tigers now 17 times in his career. Prior to tonight his BA against the Tigers was .234 with a 2.91 ERA. Not exactly the same Tigers he faced as a member of the Oakland A's but he pitched well tonight.I think Bochy took a chance and he now looks like a genius. Funny how that happens.

  112. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Mark Zuckerman said… Bang-up job by Barry Zito tonight. And an even better job by Tim Lincecum to come out of the bullpen in what had suddenly become a tenuous moment in the top of the sixth — two on, two out — and struck out Jhonny Peralta to end the inning.The Tigers did score their first run of the night, but that pitch by Lincecum keeps the lead at 6-1 when it could've easily been trimmed to 6-2 or 6-3. October 24, 2012 10:23 PM ___________________________________True stopper job by Lincecum plus Gregor Blanco with a huge catch where that inning could have spiraled out of control if Blanco doesn't catch that.

  113. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    Strike zone has widened.

  114. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  115. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    So Blanco was a Nat, huh ?

  116. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    All those " professional " singers and the cop nails it!!!

  117. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Faraz Shaikh said… By the way, very surprised to see those comments from Gio. I wouldn't be surprised if Gio makes some other comments about what he said today. October 24, 2012 10:22 PM ____________________________________Seems out of character as Gio always would fall on the knife when times aren't good or when times are good spread the compliments to his teammates.He didn't mention Drew Storen by name but we all remember the guy's name who got the Blown Save. Drew doesn't need his teammates throwing salt in the wounds and throwing him under the bus. Davey as his boss already said what needed to be said.

  118. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Gonat, Zito was left off the roster in 2010 because he had a terrible last two months. He had a pretty good year this year, and Lincecum, who won the Cy Young in 2008 and 2009 and was an All-Star in 2010, had a lousy year. Cain wasn't available to start tonight, and neither was Vogelsong. If you're "just sayin'" that Lannan should have started a game for the Nats in the NLDS, then just say it. But it's more than hindsight, it's crazy talk. Our rotation was well rested and lined up for the series and all were pitching reasonably well in the past few months. It's not even close to being a similar situation to the Giants in 2010, or this year. Davey made some questionable decisions in Game 5, but not having Lannan available to pitch was not one of them.

  119. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    baseballswami said… So Blanco was a Nat, huh ? October 24, 2012 10:38 PM ________________________________Kind of sort of. He got his cup of coffee in Syracuse.

  120. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    I thought they might have had Lannan available in case of one of those times the starter fails early and you need a second starter ready. Not exactly late relief, but injury or meltdown long innings.

  121. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Section 222, I'm not dancing around it, I will say it. Lannan's career numbers in the same amount of lifetime starts vs. the Cardinals was much better. EJax had a .271 BA against and 4.58 ERA and a 1.527 WHIP.Yes, I would have gone with Lannan as the 4th starter over EJax and I applaud Sabean and Bochy for some tough choices even though you think its a no-brainer what they did.

  122. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    swami, this was discussed. Gorzy had that job (never used, but that was his job). Valverde melting down. Leyland stuck with him now on the roster.

  123. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Pablo Sandoval with a chance to become the first player in history to hit four homers in a postseason game … and he drills a single to center.Cut the bum.

  124. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Panda had his 4 HR pitch but couldn't elevate it. Cut the bum!

  125. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    Section 222,. I'm not talking in hindsight. I had no confidence in EJax. Why not Lannan. It was Game 3, not Game 5. The stats backed up Lannan even vs a mostly RH lineup.

  126. NatsLady - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    Comparing "lifetime" stats of a pitcher vs. a team is not very meaningful after a year or two since the team is not composed of the same players. Davey went with the power righty as he should have, given the record of THIS particular Cardinals team against lefties.I had suggested Lannan in the BP instead of Gorzelanny, but people on here (and Davey) felt that was not a good idea as Lannan never worked out of the bullpen.

  127. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    Ghost, the parralels are interesting but if it backfires, hard to explain. Now Sabean and Bochy look like geniuses.

  128. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Like I said, crazy talk. For any number of reasons. Lannan had no postseason experience. Jackson had a ring. Lannan started 6 games in the big leagues this year. Jackson started 31. Most importantly, Lannan's a lefty and the Cards had a mostly RH lineup. Lannan's lifetime stats against the Cards don't even come close to outweighing all those factors. Sure sucks to be Valverde.

  129. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    NatsLady, I would agree when saying Zito vs Tigers as there's really no comparison as none of these players for the Tigers were there when Zito was with the A's, but Lannan has history against Frese, Holliday, and Molina and a few others including Beltran on other teams.The fact is EJax wasn't good against them nor was JZim but I conclude JZim's problems was more approach then matchups.

  130. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    Or I could have just said: "What NL said."

  131. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Section 222, who cares about EJax's ring. He wasn't really great in the post-season and as you saw he failed at the time where many were saying he was brought to this team for that very moment.

  132. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    I do agree with you Section 222, it is crazy talk because I knew Rizzo would not make that move. Its easy for me to give my opinion from the cheap seats.I also was not an EJax fan. To inconsistent and he swan dived in mid-September and I discounted that good start against Philly's split squad team.

  133. Feel Wood - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    I'll take the break to ask everyone a question: my nephew wants to be Jason Werth for Halloween – anyone know where to get the cool beard??You should have bought one of those Werth masks in the team store while you had the chance. If it's still open, you might still find them there.

  134. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Gonat, I bet someone drugged Gio. That's the only reasonable explanation.

  135. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    wait, at gun point makes more sense.

  136. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    After that fiasco of a pitching performance from Jose Valverde, you have to wonder if he'll ever set foot on the mound wearing a Tigers uniform again. I have my doubts.

  137. Section 222 - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Ghost, looks like you owe Mark a coke!! That may be a first in NI history.

  138. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    Faraz Shaikh said… Gonat, I bet someone drugged Gio. That's the only reasonable explanation. October 24, 2012 11:16 PM Faraz Shaikh said… wait, at gun point makes more sense. October 24, 2012 11:17 PM ______________________________________I'm thinking early morning call after a hangover.

  139. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    How do you know George Kontos went to Northwestern? He has trouble protecting a big lead late in the game.

  140. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Section222, no way, I put an exclamation mark after Bum!I will take Mark to the Waffle House in Melbourne on 95 North ramp during Spring Training. I'm addicted to that place as I only find them in Atlanta and Florida in my travels.

  141. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Jeremy Affeldt, on the other hand, had no trouble ending this game. He only needed one pitch to finish off an 8-3 win for the Giants.Most stunning development of the night? Sandoval's three homers? Verlander getting rocked? Lincecum striking out five of seven batters faced out of the bullpen?Pretty remarkable start to the series. Thanks to everyone for watching alongside. Back tomorrow for Game 2!

  142. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Its hard to believe that Verlander hadn't had good post-seasons in the past until this year's ALDS and ALCS.

  143. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    Mark, definitely Panda smacking 2 HRs on Verlander.

  144. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  145. Feel Wood - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    After watching the Giants for the last three games against the Cards and tonight against the Tigers, it does make one wonder how the Nats ever managed to take 5 out of 6 from them this season.

  146. Gonat - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:46 AM

    Zito's gameplan "Mix all his pitches around and keep them off balance and throw strikes so they can't look for one pitch."Can Jordan Zimmermann go back to that gameplan? The 80% fastballs doesn't work for a pitcher like him with 3 great pitches and a developing changeup. One thing Gio did say to Ladson today is he is going to work on his changeup which is great news.Nats pitchers down the stretch weren't mixing their pitches.

  147. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    That was a buttkicking.

  148. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    I love these things– an underdog, the reverse lock, people who fail and then reinvent themselves and find another way to succeed,pitchers who can hit, and experts being wrong. Checked a lot of things off that list last night.

  149. JayB - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Still not able to watch baseball after Nats end of season meltdown/choke.Anyone else notice Giants and Tigers both made the trades at the deadline that Nats did not. Would the Nats still be playing if Marco S or Omar I were hitting instead of Danny E? Cost was not that high on either one and cost of having Danny play the last 2 months and 5 Playoff games…….oh well he that is what Rizzo said he was going to do….play for the long term and risk not winning this year….look at Rays, Angles, Red Soxs, Philly….assuming your team will be back in the playoffs is not always a good move. I think the cost on going all in for this year was low….Danny sits or goes to minor Leagues and we lose a marginal prospect…..Gain Marco S for the Playoffs….not a bad option.

  150. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    What I have noticed this post season– teams getting hot at the perfect time and that mysterious thing we call "clutch". You can't plan for it or control it. It's a beautiful thing when it goes your way and frustrating when it doesn't.

  151. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Pence also had this to say when asked why the Nationals were so good: "Pitching. Hitting. They're good at those." Watch out McCarver, he's coming for your job. I *did* like the Pandoval goof, though. :-)Oldguy said… Yeah, radio guys: "Verlander won't have to worry about home runs in this park." Pregame interview with Pence: Q. "What do the Giants have to do to win against Detroit?" Pence: "We have to score more runs than they do." Love it. October 24, 2012 9:20 PM

  152. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    They heard him last night, because the Giants won.Michele, could be. Something tells me we'll see Tony Bennett again though.

  153. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Post of the night, which I just read. Went to bed in the 6th at two Pandoval dingers and a 6-0 lead. Woke up to a happy email from my friend in California. :-)baseballswami said… Holy crap. It's Panda- monium!!!!!! October 24, 2012 9:15 PM

  154. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Swami's two AM posts are early candidates for today. All things I love about baseball as well. :-)

  155. baseballswami - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Channeling my inner Crash Davis.

  156. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  157. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Haven't seen the full story, but wonder whether there may also have been a leading question.Gonat said… Faraz Shaikh said… Gonat, I bet someone drugged Gio. That's the only reasonable explanation. October 24, 2012 11:16 PM Faraz Shaikh said… wait, at gun point makes more sense. October 24, 2012 11:17 PM ______________________________________ I'm thinking early morning call after a hangover. October 24, 2012 11:22 PM

  158. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    sec 135, I take your point, but the Tigers aren't immune (nor are the Nats, for that matter; see, for example, Paul LoDuca or Nook "I Want a Refund" Logan). More recently on the Tigers front, see Neifi Perez, or, in another category, Kenny "Pine Tar" Rogers.Not that I condone cheating (far from it), but I'm also skeptical that the ones who have gotten caught are the only users.

  159. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Oh, I forgot Michael Morse.

  160. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Scrolling thru last night and this a.m., I was waiting for someone to call for signing Scutaro as a FA and trading Espinosa for J. Upton straight up. JayB came close enuf.

  161. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    btw, Theo, thanks for the twins link.

  162. natsfan1a - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Nice piece on the redemption, and Zito, front.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 47 --
ATLANTA 58 49 0.5
MIAMI 53 53 5.0
NEW YORK 51 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 60 11.5
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m. TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter