Programming note: Tune in to Giants October Quest for complete wrap-around coverage of Game 2 today at 4pm leading up to the first pitch, and again right after the final out, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!
SAN FRANCISCO Two years ago, the Giants won the WorldSeries with a bunch of outcasts and misfits.
But even in that social circle, there existed a subculture.Misfits among the misfits. Outcasts among the outcasts.
Barry Zito was left off all three postseason rosters, anemasculating experience for a former Cy Young Award winner reduced to a 126million knickknack. And Pablo Sandoval was banished to the bench, too out ofshape to be trusted to pick up a ground ball at third base.
RELATED: SanFrancisco Giants 2012 World Series page
Buster Posey thought back to that postseason. Into thatcontext, he inserted the events of Wednesday night, when Zito outpitched theimpregnable Justin Verlander and Sandoval thrust himself into baseball historywith three home runs.
It just goes to show you that this game this is a greatgame, Posey said, spreading a smile of admiration. If you work hard andpersevere, good things will happen. Those two guys never complained in 2010,not that I heard, anyway, and they have a love of the game. That counts for awhole lot.
The Giants have won 14 consecutive Barry Zito starts. Whoever thought youd hear club employees greet each other with Happy Zito Day!?
RELATED: Ratto -- Game 1 shows us now much we don't know about baseball
Tim Lincecum was dominant in relief. He faced seven battersand retired them all, five by strikeout. He acknowledged afterward that hesbeen in a better frame of mind as he jogs from the bullpen.
For me, its just getting mentally locked in, Lincecumsaid. When Im starting, I fall off. I start thinking about the wrong things.When Im in the bullpen, Im just out there, just thinking about getting outs.
Lincecum said he could back up Madison Bumgarner in Game 2after throwing 32 pitches. But manager Bruce Bochy said he planned to giveLincecum the day off.
Heres Lincecums aggregate stats as a reliever thispostseason: 10 23 innings, three hits, one run, one walk, 14 strikeouts.
You think the Detroit Tigers should be nervous after losinga Justin Verlander start in Game 1? Thats nothing. They should be absolutelyterrified if Buster Posey starts finding his swing after a dry postseason.
Posey had a very Poseyish RBI single to right field in theeighth inning.
Yeah, that was a better path, he told me. Ive been inand out of the zone a little bit too fast there. So that was nice. Hopefullythat was a good sign.
Hunter Pences current bat is named Nikko, according to thediligent reporting of Alex Pavlovic of Bay Area News Group. And his backup batis named Zeak.
Nikko and Zeak. That was a Disney movie, wasnt it?
From the looks of Pences swings at sliders in the otherbatters box lately, though, youd swear he named his bat Rowand.
Lincecum relieving Zito marked the first time a former CyYoung winner relieved another former Cy Young winner in a World Series gamesince 1983, when the Orioles Jim Palmer came in for Mike Flanagan. SteveCarlton started for the Phillies in that game, and he also was a Cy Youngwinner as was Justin Verlander for the Tigers on Wednesday.
Zito deserves the last word after his first World Seriesvictory in his first World Series appearance:
I battled in September to make the postseason roster.Thelast thing I would have expected at that point was to be starting Game 1.Justthe opportunity was just magical.To be able to go up against Verlanderand give our team a chance to go up 10, and the fact that we won, it's justkind of surreal.It's just a pleasure to be a part of it all.