Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/25/12
Listen, it’s not time to write the obituary for the Detroit Tigers. Yes, the San Francisco Giants looked like an unstoppable force last night against the best pitcher in baseball, but it’s just one game of four that they must win. Wednesday night was an ominous start to be sure. What Pablo Sandoval was able to do by smashing 3 homers in his first 3 at-bats was not only historic, but also dumbfounding to unsuspecting Tiger fans. But it’s time to move on. Game 2 will feature Doug Fister (10-10, 3.45 ERA) against Madison Bumgarner. Both pitchers had excellent seasons but finished out the year on different trajectories. Fister had a 2.34 ERA in 5 September starts and has a 1.35 ERA in 2 postseason appearances thus far. Bumgarner was lights out for 5 months but coughed up a 5.47 ERA in September and has been battered for 10 earned runs in 8 playoff innings, spanning 2 starts. Doug Fister has a tall task in Game 2 The Giants shut Bumgarner down after Game 1 of the NLCS to ‘fix’ him. Sound familiar Tiger fans? The Giants are hopeful that what ailed him was easier than the corrections the Tigers tried to instill upon Jose Valverde over the last week and a half. Game 1 observations: Sandoval and Marco Scutaro looked invincible at the plate. Fister will have to find a way to neutralize their hot streaks so that the Tigers can stay in the game longer than an inning. I’ve never liked pandas, honestly. They are kind of rare and spooky. What Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval was able to do last night was also rare and spooky. So, by default, I officially don’t like Sandoval. Not only does Angel Pagan appear to be the kind of player that is really going to annoy the Tigers this series, but CTU has officially confirmed him as a member of Jack Bauer’s ‘watch list’. He just looks like he’s up to something unsavory. Speaking of looking unsavory, Hunter Pence looks like a certifiable madman. I’ve watched him closely throughout his career. It appears as though he’s left a few screws behind with each new city he calls home. Hold tight Hunter! When Justin Verlander struck Barry Zito out during his first at-bat with a changeup last night, Zito seemed incredulous. He was muttering things like “Wow”, and “a changeup?”. Verlander went all fastballs in that 2nd at-bat and Zito made him pay with an RBI single on a heater right down the tube. Zito got the last laugh in this one. They will meet again in Game 5. That San Francisco Giants crowd is sensational. I was shocked to discover on Twitter yesterday that the official Giants Twitter account has 333,000 followers. Detroit’s has 182,000. Fister will be tasked with not only shutting down the Giants offense, but also of finding a way to quiet the pandemonium in the stands. Jose Valverde will not pitch again as a Detroit Tiger unless the Tigers are getting blown out once more in this series by 5 or more runs. Valverde had 3 mostly good years as a member of the Tigers and it’s awfully sad and a damn shame to see him go out like this. My heart aches for the guy. On the bright side, Joaquin Benoit seemed to be outstanding last night. He hit 97 with his fastball, which is as hard as he’s thrown all year long, and his changeup was money. He will take on a prominent role in this series, and could very well be used in a closing situation against right-handers. Fixing Benoit was as critical as correcting Valverde’s woes. At least they got one of the two accomplished. All in all, the Tigers bats weren’t atrocious. They had 8 hits and were robbed on 2 others by Gregor Blanco. A few other sharply hit balls just weren’t able to find a hole in the defense. In 49 career regular season games covering parts of 2 seasons, Al Alburquerque has never allowed a home run.  In 7 playoff games he has allowed 2, one last night and one in 2011. Rick Porcello looked sharp in his brief cameo. I expect him to be a substantial key in this series with the scrappy Giants forcing pitch counts up against the Tigers’ starters. Today is a new day. As we just witnessed last night, in playoff baseball, anything goes. Tune in, expect nothing, and hope for the best.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Evander Kane wins back model girlfriend with billboard

Urban Meyer has 'feeling' who will start at QB

Report: Schilling to return to 'Sunday Night Baseball'

Report: Cardale Jones rushed to hospital with head pain

WATCH: Cubs' Baez swings so hard he falls down

WATCH: Boston host jokes Goodell should be murdered

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Mets get inside-the-park HR after OF flips over wall

Eli Manning remains unfazed about poor preseason

RG3 thinks 'Concussion' movie will 'make a lot of people mad'

Can Darrius Heyward-Bey replace Martavis Bryant for the first month in Pittsburgh?

Treon Harris to start at QB for Gators’ opening game

Marshawn Lynch campaigning for Seahawks to sign Fred Jackson

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker