In a post season where so many #1 pitchers have struggled, Clayton Kershaw, Jon Lester, Adam Wainwright, Chris Tillman, and now James Shields, one guy who stands out as a #1 starter who performs like one is Madison Bumgarner. He delivered again in the first game of the World Series in Kansas City. When Hunter Pence hit a 2-run home run in the first inning to give the Giants a 3-0 lead, it felt like the game was over. The Royals only opportunity to get back in the game came in the 3rd inning, when Mike Moustakas doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd base with no outs. But Bumgarner struck out the next two batters and eventually escaped the inning without a run scoring. He made it to the seventh inning before surrendering a run on a home run to Salvador Perez, but by then the Giants had a 7 run lead and coasted to the 7-1 victory.

Thankfully for the Royals, it doesn’t matter how badly you lose. It only counts as one loss and in baseball momentum depends on who your next starting pitcher is. In this case, hard-throwing rookie Yordando Ventura faces Jake Peavy. Peavy has pitched well lately, but he spent a lot of time in the American League, so the Royal hitters should be familiar with him. If we’re going to see a competitive World Series, the Royals need to find a way to win this one. Otherwise we could witness something similar to 2007 when the Colorado Rockies stormed into the World Series on a hot streak, only to be swept by the Red Sox.

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