Game One is in the books with the San Francisco Giants taking a one game lead in the 2014 World Series and Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner scoring another great game in the post-season. The Kansas City Royals had the home field advantage, a big deal here in Kauffman Stadium, which can be very loud when the crowd is in it, but that wasn’t what took place in Game One Tuesday Night.
The San Francisco Giants started their best pitcher, the best pitcher in this post-season, Madison Bumgarner. He pitched six and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up one run, a solo homerun, to the Royals’ catcher Salvador Perez.
The Royals put James Shields on the mound for the start and the Giants batters gave Shields an early welcome to the World Series—they scored three runs, first when Pablo Sandoval scored Gregor Blanco and then when Hunter Pence homered, scoring Sandoval.
Shields pitched two scoreless innings, but in the top of the 4th he got in trouble, allowing Michael Morse a single that scored Pence and moved Brandon Belt to second. Danny Duffy relieved Shields and he walked two batters, one to load the bases and the second to score the Giants fifth run.
Giants batters weren’t done. They scored two more runs in the seventh with a run-scoring triple by rookie Joe Panik that brought Gregor Blanco home and a single by Pablo Sandoval that scored Panik.
Bumgarner was working on another scoreless inning when he hung a pitch out over the plate and Salvador Perez took advantage of it, slamming a solo homerun over the left field wall. It was only the third hit of the game for the Royals.
Some notable points about last night’s game: when Shields faced the Giants in August, he shut them out in a four-hit 5-0 win. He kept both Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence from getting hits in that August 9 game. Which brings up this next notable point: both Pence and Sandoval were very successful against Shields and the Royals bullpen in Game One. Both had RBI hits off Shields in the first inning. Pence reached base four times and Sandoval three times in last night’s game.
This was the Royals first loss of the post-season.
After the game Royals manager Ted Yost spoke about Giants starter Madison Bumgarner, “He was dynamite. I mean, man, he was good.”
On the loss to the Giants Yost said, ““We didn’t expect to come in here and sweep the San Francisco Giants. We knew that this was a series that was going to go deep. We know how tough they are. They swung the bats really well.”
Yes they did.
Tonight the Royals will face Jake Peavy, a veteran starter with a post-season ERA of 7.03. If Peavy tries to blow past the Royals and throw over the plate, the Royals bats are in for a good night. Peavy will have to paint the corners and get the Royals to chase pitches.
For the Royals, their rookie starter Yordano Ventura takes the mound and he can bring the heat. He can throw into the strike zone, but he must keep the ball down. The Giants can hit Ventura if his pitches are up in the strike zone or down the middle.
It should be a good game tonight as the veteran takes on the rookie. The Royals are not down and out; they expect to win this World Series so expect them to come out tonight looking to change the course of the series.
The Giants knew this would not be an easy series to win; the Royals swept the Giants in a three-game series in August so everyone from manager Bruce Bochy to rookie Joe Panik knows the Royals can win four games in a seven-game series, especially if their backs are against the wall.
In the Wild Card Game against the Oakland A’s, the Royals were behind in the game, 7-3 going into the eighth inning. They scored three in the eighth and then another to tie the game in the ninth and in the 12th inning they finally overtook the A’s in what many of the players consider the best game they’ve ever been a part of in their careers.
Game Two starts at 8p.m. Eastern time here in Kansas City with Jake Peavy starting for the Giants and Yordano Ventura for the Royals. The San Francisco Giants lead the series, 1-0.
All photos by Claudia Gestro unless otherwise noted.