KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Madison Bumgarner doesn't have the pithy, rhyming nickname implying success in the biggest games, but there's no one in baseball better in such contests.
And, as Tuesday night proved again, it's not even close.
The Giants lefthander threw seven dominant innings in a 7-1 blowout of the previously scorching Royals in Game 1 of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium in front of 40,459 disappointed fans, taking in their first Series in 29 years.
The Royals had been 8-0 in this postseason.
No one was more impressed by Bumgarner than Royals manager Ned Yost. "He was dynamite," Yost said. "Man, was he good. He was nails tonight.
We just couldn't do anything with him."
The Giants, looking to win their third Series in five years, have their own impressive streak going, winners in their last nine postseason series dating to 2010. They are three victories from making it 10 in a row, and the 25-year-old Bumgarner is a big reason why.
Bumgarner, making his third World Series start, allowed one run and three hits. Salvador Perez's two-out homer in the seventh ended Bumgarner's World Series scoreless-inning streak at 212/3 and his postseason road scoreless streak at 322/3 innings, the latter an MLB record.
He entered the game 5-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 11 postseason starts, including 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA in four starts this postseason, when he earned NLCS MVP honors against the Cardinals.
His counterpart Tuesday night, for some reason still referred to in some circles as "Big Game'' James Shields, did not make it out of the third inning, allowing five runs in three-plus innings, running his ERA this postseason to 7.11.
Coming in, Shields was 3-4 with a 5.19 ERA in nine postseason starts.
The Giants gave Bumgarner a 3-0 lead in the first, the equivalent of giving the Tiger Woods of 10 to 15 years ago a five-shot lead on Sunday in a major.
Gregor Blanco led off by dumping a 2-and-2 pitch into centerfield, just in front of a charging Lorenzo Cain. St. John's product Joe Panik followed with a long flyout to Cain in left-center, the ball deep enough to allow Blanco to go to second.
Shields fell behind Buster Posey 2-and-0 before the catcher lined a single to left, putting runners on the corners with one out for Pablo Sandoval. The third baseman, hitting .326 this postseason, made it 24 straight playoff games in which he's reached base, ripping an RBI double down the rightfield line, part of a night in which he went 2-for-5 with two RBIs. For some reason, third-base coach Tim Flannery waved Posey, not the fastest of runners, home, and he was thrown out easily.
Hunter Pence followed and launched a full-count fastball to straightaway center for his first postseason homer. The two-run shot made it 3-0 and sent the Kauffman denizens to a quiet not heard here since the Royals trailed the A's Jon Lester 7-3 in the eighth inning of the wild-card game.
The Royals threatened in the third but were turned away. Omar Infante reached on an error by shortstop Brandon Crawford. Mike Moustakas, hitting .241 but with four homers this postseason, ripped a double into the rightfield corner.
Bumgarner struck out Alcides Escobar and Nori Aoki but walked ALCS MVP Lorenzo Cain to load the bases for Eric Hosmer. The Royals' first baseman, hitting .448 with a .556 on-base percentage in the playoffs, swung at the first pitch and grounded out to second to end the inning.
Pence led off the fourth by yanking a double down the leftfield line and went to third on a wild pitch. Brandon Belt walked, putting runners at the corners for Michael Morse, who lined a single to center to make it 4-0 and end Shields' night.
Juan Perez pinch hit for Travis Ishikawa and laid down a sacrifice bunt against lefthander Danny Duffy to advance the runners. Duffy walked Crawford to load the bases, and then he walked Blanco to force in Belt to make it 5-0.