KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants put a sudden stop to the Kansas City Royals’ perfect postseason roll.
Bumgarner pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, Hunter Pence homered early and the Giants showed off their October poise, shutting down the Royals 7-1 on Tuesday night in the World Series opener.
From the get-go, the Giants simply did everything right to win their seventh straight World Series game. There’s a reason Bumgarner and these guys in black and orange are trying for their third title in five years.
The Royals, meanwhile, looked nothing like the fresh team that had become baseball’s darlings by starting the playoffs with eight wins in a row — pitching, hitting and fielding all deserted them.
The fates seemed to change from the very first batter, in fact. Gregor Blanco led off with a soft line drive to center field and American League Championship Series MVP Lorenzo Cain charged, then backed off as the ball fell for a single. It would’ve taken a near miracle to catch it, but that’s the kind of play the Royals had been making on a routine basis.
Moments later, Pence’s homer highlighted a three-run burst in the first inning against James Shields. Nicknamed “Big Game James,” he once again failed to live up to that billing and left in the fourth when the Giants made it 5-0.
Just like that, what many figured would be a tight matchup had turned into a mismatch. And it was a good omen for the Giants — the Game 1 winner has won 15 of the last 17 World Series.
The Royals will try to get even in Game 2 on Wednesday night when rookie Yordano Ventura starts against veteran Jake Peavy.
Photo via Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports Images