A Panda tamed the Detroit Tigers' most ferocious starting pitcher in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series Game while a pitcher whose offerings might not even be pulled over for speeding on the freeway managed to stymy a Triple Crown winner.
Not surprisingly, a lot of the postgame talk after the Giants' 8-3 win in Game 1 was about Pablo Sandoval, who joined Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols in the record books by hitting three home runs in a single World Series game. The struggles of Justin Verlander and the mastery of Barry Zito, who wasn't even on the playoff roster in 2010 when the Giants won the World Series, were hot topics as well.
Scroll down to see some postgame quotes, via ASAP Sports, from the players and managers.
QUOTES ON PABLO SANDOVAL
Sandoval on what it means to join Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols: "Man, I still can't believe it. When you're a little kid, you dream of being in the World Series, but I was thinking of being in this situation, three homers in one game. You have to keep focused, keep focused and playing your game. You don't have to be too excited. The series is not over. You have to keep playing your game."
Jim Leyland on Sandoval's night: "Well, he hit one down, he hit a couple up. He just had one of those big nights. He's an outstanding hitter, obviously, and he just had one of those nights where anything we threw, he hit. I think you certainly tip your hat to what Sandoval did tonight. You can't sit up here and say what he did tonight was a fluke. I mean, it was unbelievable. The guy had one of those unbelievable World Series nights that they'll be talking about for years. So I tip my hat to him."
Sandoval on whether he was looking for a certain pitcher after the coach's visit to the mound (2nd homer): "You know, I just don't try to look for nothing there, I just go and swing the ball. Wherever the ball is, I'm just going to swing. I'm not going to try to do too much right now, especially at this time of the season, everybody is tired; all the things you feel slow. But you have to keep focused on that. I just go in there and get a pitch I can hit."
Bruce Bochy on Sandoval: "Well, I mean, to hit three home runs, I mean, that's always a surprise. But the guy can hit. He's got a great ability to get the good part of the bat on the ball and threw out some great at‑bats. He's swinging it very well and he's been seeing the ball very well, and that was quite a performance by him. We're not known for our power, but it's nice to get three home runs. He's been locked in for a while, and the home runs really where he hit them, too, it's not easy to hit them where he hit them. Just a tremendous night. A night I know he'll never forget."
QUOTES ON JUSTIN VERLANDER
Jim Leyland on Verlander's struggles: "Well, I think first of all, you give the Giant hitters credit. I think that's where you start. Then second of all, I think probably a little bit of a layoff, it's been quite a while since he's pitched. His command was not good; I think he just got out of pitching, started throwing a little bit too much. But I think you start with giving the Giant hitters credit. They did a good job. They're very pesky, and obviously the big guy had one of those unbelievable nights that happens once in a while in a World Series. What a night for him."
Sandoval on having success off Verlander: "You have to give him credit. He's one of the best pitchers in the Big Leagues. In this situation you're going to face the best. For me I just go in there and don't thinking too much or try to do too much, get a pitch you can hit, take advantage of the mistakes he be making. That's a part of my game."
QUOTES ON BARRY ZITO
Zito on controlling emotions in his first World Series game: "I mean, you know, I battled in September to make the postseason roster. The last thing I would have expected at that point was to be starting Game 1. Just the opportunity was just magical. To be able to go up against Verlander and give our team a chance to go up 1‑0, and the fact that we won, it's just kind of surreal. It's just a pleasure to be a part of it all."
Jim Leyland on Zito: "Zito did a good job. I mean, there's no secrets, really, about Zito. You know what he does; he does it very well, he stays out of the middle very well, he changes speeds. He throws this when you're looking for that and vice versa. He's a tough competitor. I think sometimes you can always tell when a pitcher is really a tough competitor with the at‑bat that he had. I know that sounds a little strange, but he was grinding out that at‑bat and ended up getting a base hit. That tells you something about Barry Zito."
Zito on pitching in the same game as Lincecum: "Yeah, it was huge. Timmy and I have always been close, ever since the day he came up. But I think we got a little closer this year because I just tried to be there for him and help him out sometimes if he needed it this year. To have him in the bullpen, it's just like ridiculous. It's such a tool in our pocket that we can bust out at any time a guy that has made history with his two Cy Youngs. It was just really special personally, too, to watch Timmy carve them up and just do what he does. It was great. "
Bochy on Zito: "He's been throwing the ball very well, and I was happy and glad to tell him that he had the start tonight. He was excited about it. He's kind of been our lucky charm, too. 14 games now we've found a way to win his ballgames, and he's just had great focus out there and concentration. He started getting the ball up there in the 6th, but that's a tough lineup, and he really located well both sides of the plate, changed speeds, and he's been throwing like this for a while. Really to win 15 games, you have to throw the ball well all year, and he's won some big games for us. I mean, we know the game in St. Louis, but to get here, he's done a remarkable job of stopping losing streaks and finding ways to win a ballgame for us."