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Pablo Sandoval crushes three homers in Game 1 victory

I heard an interview with Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander before Game 1 where he was talking about what the fans wanted to see from him. It was something about fans wanting to see him pump fastballs past hitters instead of nibbling the corners, and that would be his approach. Well, maybe the long layoff hurt him and the Tigers, or maybe he should avoid worrying about what fans want in terms of pitching advice, as the Tigers got thumped in Game 1 of the World Series.

Meanwhile, Pablo Sandoval hit three homers in a row, two off of the mighty Verlander, as he joined Reggie Jackson, Babe Ruth and Albert Pujols as the only hitters to hit three homers in a World Series game.

It’s been a crazy postseason in baseball, and anything can happen, but this was a great start for the Giants.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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World Series kicks off tonight

The World Series kicks off tonight with an interesting pitching matchup, as Justin Verlander takes on Barry Zito in game one between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers. Verlander is considered to be one of the best, if not the best, pitcher in baseball. He’s also rumored to be dating Kate Upton. So life is pretty good for the guy right now. Meanwhile, Barry Zito has revived his career. He was once a dominant pitcher, but then several years ago the Giants didn’t even put him on the World Series roster. Now he’s starting game one. And that’s how it often goes in baseball. Pitchers at the top of their game can lose it, but you never know when or if they might get it all back. Zito is one of those guys.

The Super Bowl is great, but there are few experiences like a World Series game. There’s all sorts of excitement in each city, with tons of memorabilia for sale as everyone wants something to remember the event. Also, this stuff can be worth something in the future as well. Things like programs are very valuable, and even third party stuff can be cool. All sorts of entrepreneurs try to cash in. Taking their ideas to a printing company or using UPrinting online brochure printing and then selling their creations on the side of the road. Of course you have to be careful. You have to respect the MLB trademarks, so if you’re selling your own creation without an MLB license, it better be completely original and not infringe on MLB trademarks.

Every year a hero emerges, and that’s where creative entrepreneurs can do cool stuff with nicknames, etc. Hopefully you’ll get the chance to attend one of the games in San Francisco or Detroit. And pick up a cool thing to remember the experience!

The price of a World Series title? For Cardinals, it may be Chris Carpenter.

There’s always a price to pay in life. Success doesn’t come without failure and often times, elation doesn’t come without desolation.

For the St. Louis Cardinals, the price of their miraculous 2011 championship wasn’t losing Albert Pujols (like many had thought), but perhaps ace Chris Carpenter.

You could certainly make a case for Pujols or World Series hero David Freese being the most valuable player on last year’s Cardinals team. But in my eyes, it was hands down Chris Carpenter. Nobody threw as many innings in the big leagues last year than Carpenter, who was marvelous in the postseason. He won five of the six games he pitched, with his only loss coming in a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Rangers in the World Series. In that game he pitched seven innings of two-run ball while striking out four and allowing just two earned runs. He wound up pitching just four days later and beat the Rangers for the second time in the Series, limiting Texas to two runs on six hits over six innings while helping St. Louis win its 11th championship.

Now, with just two weeks before the start of the 2012 MLB season, Carpenter is dealing with a nerve issue in his right shoulder. The initial diagnosis was that he had a bulging cervical disc in his back and there was actually some positive news on his condition earlier this week. But it has been discovered that the discomfort he has experienced in his shoulder is actually nerve damage and nobody knows how long it’ll take for him to recover – or if he even will.

The word “retirement” and Chris Carpenter don’t really go together. He’ll be 37 years old at the end of April but it would take an army to pull him off the mound. But it really isn’t up to him on how his body will react over these next couple of days, weeks, and months. He rejected surgery on Wednesday because quite frankly, it wouldn’t help. It’s not like he has a tear – he’s dealing with nerve damage. All he can do now is wait for the nerve to heal itself (which could take some time), test his arm out, and then go from there. The nerve could essentially heal itself next month but then become damaged again when he attempts to throw. It’s just hard to predict what will happen next.

For the Cardinals’ sake, hopefully the nerve does regenerate quickly and he can get back on the mound at some point this season. But the news out of St. Louis right now isn’t good and there’s a chance that 2011 was the last we’ll see of Chris Carpenter in a baseball uniform. And if that is indeed the case, at least he and Cardinal fans will remember him for being the warrior he was in the 2011 postseason.

The Giants paid their World Series debt in the form of losing Buster Posey, Freddy Sanchez, Pablo Sandoval and Brian Wilson for extended periods of time last season, which prevented them from qualifying for the postseason. Now the Cardinals are paying the price for theirs and it’s a shame that it has to come in the form of Carpenter.

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