SHAFAQNA- All it took was a Mad Bum to end theKansas City Royals’ perfect postseason and give the San Francisco Giants a 1-0 lead in baseball’s World Series.
Madison Bumgarner, known as “MadBum” to his teammates, continued his postseason dominance, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings as the Giants defeated the host Royals 7-1 last night in the opening game of the best-of-seven series.
Hunter Pence, who homered for the Giants, said Bumgarner doesn’t get intimidated by big games or the intensity of an opposing crowd.
“He’s got a mindset that he’s going to come after you and he has that hard-nosed pitcher mentality,” Pence said in a news conference.
The Giants, who won Major League Baseball’s championship in 2010 and 2012, got three runs in the first inning and two more in the fourth and seventh innings, and let Bumgarner take care of the rest.
The Royals, in the postseason for the first time since 1985, had a perfect run to the World Series with eight straight playoff victories but now face tough odds — Game 1 losers have gone on to win the World Series just 38 percent of the time.
Game 2 is set for tonight in Kansas City. The series then moves to San Francisco.
This is the second World Series featuring two wild-card teams, joining the series between the Giants and Anaheim Angels in 2002. Wild-card teams make the playoffs by having the best records in each league other than the three division winners. The wild-card system debuted in 1995.
It is the first time in MLB history that teams with fewer than 90 wins in a complete regular season are meeting in the World Series — the Royals went 89-73 this season and the Giants were 88-74.
Bumgarner, 25, a left-hander, was the Most Valuable Player of the Giants’ National League Championship Series victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. The two-time All-Star has now pitched in three World Series and won all three of his starts, allowing one run in 22 innings.
“Bum has great poise out there, and he showed it tonight,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said in a news conference. “He doesn’t get flustered, and he keeps coming at you.”
The Giants scored three runs in the first inning on five hits off Royals starter and loser James Shields, including a run-scoring double by Pablo Sandoval and the two-run homer by Pence.
Designated hitter Mike Morse had a run-scoring single in the fourth, when Gregor Blanco walked with the bases loaded to drive in another run. The Giants added two more in the seventh inning on a run-scoring triple by Joe Panik and Sandoval’s single.
Salvador Perez hit a solo home run in the seventh for Kansas City’s run.
Shields, 32, was knocked out of the game in the fourth inning after allowing five runs on seven hits. He has struggled this postseason, allowing 15 runs on 28 hits in 19 innings and failing to live up to his “Big Game James” nickname.
“We knew this series was going to be a battle,” Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters. “We know how tough they are. They swung the bats really well. Bumgarner, he was dynamite. I mean, man, was he good tonight.”
By Rob Gloster