When the San Francisco Giants last won the World Series, they did it with a lot of players who weren't stars playing over their heads, such as Cody Ross, Andres Torres and a past his prime Edgar Renteria. In the mean time, Bruce Bochy had Pablo Sandoval coming off the bench and Barry Zito off the postseason roster despite Zito making $18.5 million that season. Fast forward two years later and not only are both men starting, they led the Giants to a Game 1 victory last night.
We have to start with the Panda, since he tied a World Series record hitting 3 HR's last night. He forever will have his name right along side Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols. That's some company I'd like to keep. The best part for Sandoval is that he hit two of them against Justin Verlander, who might be the best pitcher in baseball, but he has his issues with the San Francisco Giants. When Sandoval had a chance to hit a 4th HR and only came through with a single, it was a letdown, sarcastically speaking of course, but it demonstrated how big a night he had that a single is just ho-hum. Consider this, Sandoval had three ABs in the entire 2010 World Series; his first three this year were HR's.
Barry Zito didn't even have AB's or IP back in 2010. However, pitching struggles forced Zito to pitch in Game 5 of the NLCS and pitched a gem and was called on to try to match Verlander. Fortunately for the Giants, he didn't; he went 5.2 IP giving up only a run and striking out three. He also knocked in a run off Verlander with an opposite field hit to make it 5-0. Staying in the game was the goal with Barry Zito; him flourishing against guys like Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder makes it even better.
Zito and Sandoval weren't the only stories of Game 1. Tim Lincecum relieved Zito and utterly dominated over 2.1 IP. Marco Scutaro continued his surprising play with a couple more hits and Angel Pagan did the same with a couple doubles. And you can't mention Game 1 without mentioning Gregor Blanco's spectacular diving catches. I know though that the history books will remember Kung Fu Panda and Barry Zito and for two guys who were in San Francisco in 2010, but not really, that's who deserves to have the glory after this result.