Way back in spring training, Hunter Pence of San Francisco hit a wicked grounder that smacked Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in the face.
A few months later, the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval launched a bases-loaded triple off Tigers ace Justin Verlander in the All-Star game.
Here they all are again, with everything at stake.
Tigers-Giants in the World Series.
A driven team from Detroit, loaded with power bats and arms, guided by wily Jim Leyland and coming off an impressive sweep. A surging squad from San Francisco, boosted by its rotation and talented catcher Buster Posey, fresh from a Game 7 win over defending champion St. Louis.
A Triple Crown winner in Cabrera vs. a perfect game pitcher in Matt Cain. The Motor City vs. the City by the Bay, starting with Game 1 on Wednesday in the California twilight.
“I’ll have to learn a lot about them real soon, to be honest,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Verlander will throw the first pitch for the Tigers. Bochy said he hasn’t looked that far in advance.
It’s certainly a unique pairing. Both franchises have been around for well over a century yet they’ve not met in the postseason.
The clubs have played only 12 games since interleague action began in 1995, most recently last year at Comerica Park. That series was notable because the Tigers fired pitching coach Rick Knapp following the final game, a day after Barry Zito and the Giants routed Max Scherzer 15-3.
“From Day One of spring training, we’re getting ready for this,” the Giants’ Angel Pagan said. “We’re going to be ready. We’re going to just keep playing baseball like we do.”