Sandoval gets overwhelming response to historic performance 

click to enlarge San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval waits to take batting practice before Game 2 of baseball's World Series against the Detroit Tigers Thursday - MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ/AP
  • Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
  • San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval waits to take batting practice before Game 2 of baseball's World Series against the Detroit Tigers Thursday

Pablo Sandoval had a historic night in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday, and a few hundred of his closest friends made sure to offer their thoughts on his three-homer game.

“300 text messages, man,” he said Thursday.

He didn’t hear from the other living members of the club he joined, Albert Pujols and Reggie Jackson, but he did get one message he didn’t expect.

“The president [of Venezuela] sent me a tweet yesterday,” he said. “I still can’t believe it.”

He said President Hugo Chavez tweeted during Sandoval’s fourth at-bat, saying Chavez was ready to watch a fourth.

The most recent post on Chavez’s feed Thursday afternoon read, “Allá va el tercero, pues! Pablo pa’ la Historia! Viva Venezuela!!” which translates to “There goes the third one, then! Pablo is going down in history! Long live Venezuela!!”

Bullpen questions: Jose Valverde has had plenty of success as the Tigers closer during the regular season, finishing sixth in the American League with 35 saves and posting a 3.78 ERA.

That success has not carried over to the postseason in four appearances, where he has given up nine earned runs over 2²?³ innings and blowing one of his two save chances, both of which came in the AL Division Series against
the A’s.

Despite Valverde giving up four straight hits to the Giants in Game 1 of the World Series, manager Jim Leyland stuck by his man.

“I certainly don’t think he was bad last night,” Leyland said Thursday. “Some people have all kind of answers as to what’s been wrong, but from what I see, he was 92, 93 [mph] last night with a couple 94s, I believe, so I think it’s just a matter of locating his fastball and keeping it out of the middle of the
plate.”

Familiar foe: Though the Giants and Tigers have not see much of each other by virtue of playing in different leagues and different spring training sites, the Giants have seen more of the Tigers scheduled Game 3 starter than they might like to at this point.

Anibal Sanchez came over to the Tigers in a trade with the Miami Marlins this season, and shut down the Giants in his five starts against them before switching leagues. He has a 3-1 career record and 1.98 ERA against San Francisco, including seven innings of one-run ball here at AT&T Park on May 3 in a 3-2 Marlins win.

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