2010: So much for a pitcher’s duel between Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee. Sure, the Rangers actually got out to a 2-run lead. But the Giants had it tied by the third, and a 3-run home run by Juan Uribe capped off a 6-run inning that knocked Cliff Lee out of the game. It ended in an 11-7 win that never felt quite so close as that score implies.
2012: Okay, that was enough of a mismatch to be afraid. Justin Verlander on one side, Barry Zito on the other, and a Detroit Tigers lineup that mashed. And in the end, of course, Pablo Sandoval made this one a laugher whose only drama and intrigue was whether or not Sandoval would break a record with four home runs in a game. That was about the only thing that didn’t go the Giants way.
2014: This had all the implications of a close game. Many experts were expecting the Giants to beat the Kansas City Royals in Game 1, behind Bumgarner, but James Shields was a very good pitcher with a nickname that implied he’d rise to big games, and the Royals have a dangerous lineup.
And yet, another relatively easy victory.
This series is far from over. The Giants are not going to breeze through this series by any means. But it’s another Game 1 that has gone by with relatively little drama. And the Giants are undoubtedly in a better position than they would be if they’d lost. And all that momentum the Royals had has come to a screeching halt. If it’d been a close game, maybe they’d still have some. But this, a dominating win? The momentum the Royals had is gone.
Game 2 could be a lot more…interesting. But this was a fun Game 1.