MLB Notebook: Panda has night for record books
In the bottom of the first inning in the first game of the 1933 World Series, Giants outfielder Mel Ott -- with his teammate Jo-Jo Moore on first base and two outs in the inning -- made his first Fall Classic plate appearance. Ott, who had 175 homers over his previous six seasons (a total surpassed by only Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig and Chuck Klein) then provided a familiar sight for Giants fans by depositing a pitch into the right-field seats at the Polo Grounds.
Ott had become the third player to homer in his first plate appearance in the Fall Classic. Although he didn't go deep in any other trip to the plate in that particular game, Ott did continue to be a nuisance to his opponent.
In the third, Ott singled in a run. In the fifth, he improved to 3-for-3 on the day with another single. Then, in the seventh, he singled yet again.
There wouldn't be another such Game 1 Fall Classic performance -- a perfect day at the plate with a first-inning home run being one of at least four hits -- again until Pablo Sandoval had a night for the record books Wednesday.
Sandoval's huge night
Sandoval went 4-for-4 with three home runs and four RBIs, leading the Giants to an 8-3 victory in Game 1 of the World Series. Sandoval joined Ruth (1926, '28), Reggie Jackson ('77) and Albert Pujols (2011) as the only players to hit three home runs in a World Series game.
Some details of the three-homer World Series games:
Ruth (1926, Game 4): 3-for-3, four runs, four RBIs; team wins, 10-5
Ruth (1928, Game 4): 3-for-5, three runs, three RBIs; team wins, 7-3, to clinch World Series
Reggie Jackson (1977, Game 6): 3-for-3, four runs, five RBIs; team wins, 8-4, to clinch World Series
Pujols (2011, Game 3): 5-for-6, four runs, six RBIs; team wins, 16-7
Sandoval (2012, Game 1): 4-for-4, three runs, four RBIs; team wins, 8-3
Sandoval joined Benny Kauff (1917, Game 4) and Jeff Kent (2002, Game 5) as the only Giants players with multiple homers in a World Series game. Sandoval also became the first Giants player since Ott in '33 to homer in the first inning of the first game of the World Series.
Sandoval collected 13 total bases in the game, the second most in a Fall Classic. In his three-homer game last year, Pujols had 14. Sandoval also became the fifth player in World Series history to have a Game 1 in which he collected at least four hits in a perfect day at the plate. The others: the Giants' Frankie Frisch (4-for-4 in 1921), the Giants' Ott (4-for-4 in '33), the Yankees' Bill Dickey (4-for-4 in '38) and the Cardinals' Lou Brock (4-for-4 in '67).
Sandoval became the 12th switch-hitter to have a four-hit game in the Fall Classic. Before him, the most recent to do it in a Game 1 had been Jose Vizcaino in 2000.
With the four RBIs, Sandoval extended his postseason RBI streak to six games, establishing a new Giants record. He had been tied with Barry Bonds, who drove in a run in five consecutive postseason games in 2002. With the streak at six, Sandoval is tied for the sixth-longest streak for any player. The record is eight, shared by Lou Gehrig, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard.
Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
Scutaro extended his postseason hitting streak to 11 games, tying Irish Meusel (1921-22) for the longest by a Giants player in the playoffs. Overall, Scutaro's streak is tied for the 28th longest in postseason history. The top mark is 17 games, shared by Hank Bauer, Derek Jeter and Manny Ramirez.
Scutaro now has seven multihit games during the 2012 postseason. Those seven tie him with 19 others for the seventh most in a single year. The most is nine, a feat shared by Marty Barrett (1986), Marquis Grissom ('96) and Troy Glaus (2002).
San Francisco starter Barry Zito allowed one run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings and picked up the win.
Before Zito, the most recent Giants southpaw to start and win a World Series Game 1 was Dave Koslo, who tossed a seven-hit complete game in 1951 to beat the Yankees, 5-1. Other Giants left-handers to start and win a World Series Game 1: Carl Hubbell ('33 and '36) and Art Nehf ('24).
Tim Lincecum fanned five in 2 1/3 innings of no-hit, scoreless relief while also inheriting and stranding two baserunners.
Lincecum is one of three pitchers in World Series history to have a relief outing with at least five K's while allowing no hits and no runs. In Game 4 of the 1949 World Series, Yankees right-hander Allie Reynolds fanned five in 3 1/3 perfect innings during which he stranded two runners when he entered the game. In Game 5 in '85, Cardinals right-hander Todd Worrell faced six batters and struck out all six batters he faced in two perfect innings.
Here and there
With Angel Pagan contributing two doubles to the Giants' attack, San Francisco became the 18th team to have at least five extra-base hits in a World Series Game 1. The 2010 Giants had been the most recent team to do it, collecting seven against the Rangers.
Entering 2012, teams that won Game 1 of the World Series went on to capture the title 61.7 percent of the time.
Austin Jackson singled and doubled for Detroit, becoming the first Tigers leadoff hitter with a multihit World Series Game 1 since Dick Bartell in 1940.
Jhonny Peralta hit his third homer of the 2012 postseason. He is the 10th shortstop to have at least three homers in a single postseason and the second Tigers shortstop to do it, joining Alan Trammell (1984). Rich Aurilia had six in 2002 for the Giants.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.