Barry Zito will be on the bump for the Giants. Image courtesy of bleacherreport.com/Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
After one of the most entertaining postseasons in living memory, it has come down to the Giants and the Tigers in the seven-game World Series. These franchises have never faced off before in baseball’s pinnacle event, one that San Francisco tasted victory in just two years ago.
Detroit comes in to the series after a substantial break thanks to their 4-0 clean sweep of the New York Yankees. While it has given their pitching staff quality rest, whether the line-up can maintain the momentum generated from their win in the American League Championship Series is another matter. The Giants, on the other hand, come in to after smoking the Cardinals in the final three clashes of their series.
Game one will be played at AT&T Park in San Fran on Thursday morning (AEDT). The Giants have home field advantage in the World Series after the National League won the All-Star game in Kansas City earlier this year. It presents a dilemma for the Tigers as they’ll need to reshuffle the outfield for Delmon Young, who normally plays as the designated hitter in the American League. It causes an issue, with their suspect defence becoming even more suspect, but they can’t afford to be without the slugger who holds the club record for postseason homers with seven over the past two years.
Left-hander Barry Zito looks as though he’ll start on the mound for the Giants, and he comes in to the game in form having won his final five starts and seven straight decisions. Only problem is he’ll be going up against Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who is arguably the best in the business at the moment, and a strong chance of taking out his second straight Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the American League. Zito won the award ten years ago when he was with the A’s, but Verlander is the man of the moment. Verlander had an ERA of just 2.64 this season and led the Majors with 239 strikeouts, so runs are likely to be at a premium .
Zito went 15-8 this season, which was his first winning season in six years in San Francisco, with a 4.16 ERA. He faced the Tigers once last season, beating them with six shutout innings, with Detroit managing just five hits.
Click here to bet on World Series Game One