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 he proved again Tuesday night, 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.
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.
"He was dynamite," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was nails tonight. We just couldn't do anything with him."
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 was on top of his game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Bum has great poise out there, and he showed it tonight. He doesn't get flustered and he keeps coming at you."
Bumgarner 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.
The Giants, who also played superb defense, 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.
The big hits were Pablo Sandoval's RBI double and a two-run homer by a struggling Hunter Pence, who came in hitting .256 with no homers and three RBIs this postseason.
"When you've got Madison on the mound, even when it's zero zero, you still feel very confident," Pence said of giving the club's ace an early lead. "We have all the confidence in the world with Bumgarner on the mound, no matter what the score is."
Bumgarner's counterpart last 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.
"He was really struggling to command his changeup tonight," said Yost, who added later that should there be a Game 5, Shields definitely would start it.
Gregor Blanco led off the first 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 Sandoval. The third baseman, hitting .326 this postseason, made it 24 straight playoff games in which he has reached base, ripping an RBI double down the rightfield line, part of a night in which he went 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
Pence followed with his two-run shot 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. Bumgarner never really let them in the game thereafter.
"If you're worried about how loud the crowd is going to be, then you're in the wrong place mentally," Bumgarner said of the ability he has shown in his career to focus in the postseason, especially on the road. "And probably in the wrong business."