SAN FRANCISCO -- Everyone knows how important Game 1 is in a five-game series. After all, 72 percent of the time, the team that wins Game 1 has won the series. In the 60 Division Series in the Wild Card era, only 17 teams have bucked the numbers to come back and advance. The trend of Game 1 importance is even more lopsided in the National League, where Game 1 winners have won 27 of 30 series. Giants manager Bruce Bochy and his club are well aware of those numbers and understand how pivotal it would be to win Thursday's series opener.
"We look at this as a big game and we've been saying that about a lot of our games, but when you're in a best-out-of-five, there's no getting around it: The first game's important," Bochy said. "It's not do-or-die, but it does make things easier if you can win the first game. Both sides I'm sure feel the same, but we're at home so we're going to be doing all we can to win this game. "We know how important it is here in the short series. Anytime you're in a best-of-five, they're all big, but the first one certainly is."