This is your World Series recap in GIF format. Next we'll recap the Astros season in GIFs. Again commentary provided by Rob Neyer.
Pablo Sandoval kicked off the World Series right with his first of three homeruns in Game 1
As Tim McCarver noted, you just don't hit many 0-and-2 pitches hard against Justin Verlander.
But with two outs in the bottom of the first inning of the first game of the 2012 World Series, that's exactly what Pablo Sandoval did:
Time for some good defense
Zito pitched well against the Cardinals in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, but he needed some pretty good luck -- in the form of fortuitous batted balls, and great plays, and feeble swings -- to carry a shutout in the eighth inning. And now it seems to be happening in Game of the World Series. In the top of the third, Miguel Cabrera -- as you would expect him to do against Barry Zito -- just murdered a pitch.
And now time for some bad defense
Meanwhile, Justin Verlander retired six straight Giants after Pablo Sandoval drove a high fastball over the center-field fence in the first inning. And it might have been seven straight, but tonight those baseball gods haven't been nearly as kind to him; watch what happened when Ángel Pagán hit a chopper toward third base:
It's Kung Fu Panda again, making history
Verlander was out of the game after four innings. Alburquerque was in. Sandoval came up again in the fifth. He'd never hit three home runs in any game. Only three men in major-league history had ever hit three home runs in one World Series game. Pablo Sandoval hit only seven home runs at AT&T Park all season.
Take your statistics and shove it. Game 1 of the 2012 World Series belongs to Panda ...
This is how close plays at the plate should happen. Still exciting.
led off the top of the second, and Madison Bumgarner's third pitch plunked him in the shoulder. Delmon Young came up next, and grounded Bumgarner's second pitch down the third-base line; the ball bounded through the bullpen, then caromed off a jutting wall. Gregor Blanco corralled the ball finally, and hit second baseman Marco Scutaro -- stationed all the way near third base by then -- and Scutaro fired a perfect strike to Buster Posey, who just nipped Fielder on his right foot before his left foot touched the plate.
The scary moment of the Series.
Somehow, Fister seemed unaffected, and got right back to business after a couple of practice offerings. Fister walked Brandon Crawford to load the bases, but got Bumgarner on a pop to short center field to end the frame.
Nothing from Game 2, but it looked a lot like this from Game 3.
Pence stole second base while Brandon Belt was striking out looking, then moved to third when one of Sánchez's fastballs sailed past catcher Alex Avila. But those advancements seemed moot when Gregor Blanco drove a pitch to deep right-center field ...
Game 4 looked like this
Which set up the bottom of the ninth, with Game 4 still tied 3-3.
With Affeldt still pitching for the Giants, struck out. Jhonny Peralta came up next, and hit a fly ball to center field that seemed simple enough ... until the wind took ahold, and pushed it to the warning track, where a surprised Ángel Pagán hauled it in, more than 400 feet from the plate. Here was Affeldt's reaction:
This would be me.
This is not a theoretical construct. In the top of the sixth inning, Buster Posey did pick on a hanging change-up from Max Scherzer and hit a home run that traveled 363 feet, then went between a Tiger fan's hands and bounced off his skull.
And this is the Buster Posey homerun
Max Scherzer was cruising. Entering the sixth inning, he'd thrown only 67 pitches while striking out six Giants, and his Tigers were ahead 2-1. But this World Series ... Marco Scutaro led off the sixth with a high chopper that became an infield hit. And after Scherzer struck out Pablo Sandoval, he hung a change-up to Buster Posey and ...
Tigers were a little feisty in Game 4.
In the bottom of the third, the Tigers got a man aboard when Matt Cain issued a one-out walk -- on a pitch that just missed the bottom edge of the strike zone -- to Austin Jackson. When Jackson took off for second base on a steal attempt, Quintin Berry bunted toward third base and was just nipped at first base, with Brandon Belton making a nice scoop of throw.
That brought up Miguel Cabrera. In the first inning, Cain walked him. This time, Cain left a fastball up and ...
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