Cautiously Optimistic

For the first time during these playoffs I am not 100% confident that the Red Sox are going to win a game. Now before people start calling me a fair-weathered fan, give me a chance to explain.

Being up 2-0 in the series, I feel that the pressure is now on Boston. The Rockies are in a big hole to a more experienced team. But unlike most teams in baseball, the Rockies seem to play better when their backs are against the wall. The Rockies can go out and just let it rip. They can be aggressive at the plate and take chances on the basepaths. People are already writing them off, so what do they have to lose?

Colorado has scored two runs in the series. Nobody can really believe that this is the best the Rockies have to offer. This is a team loaded with guys that can play and that are eager to show some offense. And tonight they’re playing at Coors Field in front of 50,000 fans. If this doesn’t give the Rockies the boost they need, nothing will.

Which brings me to Boston. I have been going back and forth since game two on who I think should start at first base for the Red Sox. This was like if someone asked which of my kids was my favorite. Who do you pick? Big Papi or Youk. This had to be a really tough decision for Francona. My initial thoughts were to go with Youkilis. He plays great defense and has been crushing the ball. The defense is particularly important in a bigger park like Coors Field.

Big Papi, on the other hand, is arguably the greatest postseason hitter in MLB history. He may not be a Gold Glover, but he has proven to be a decent first baseman. Every time I think Papi can’t play first base well, I remember the 2004 World Series. Game three, St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Suppan rounded third base too far and was promptly picked off by Ortiz on a great throw. I understand why Francona kept Big Papi in the lineup, but I just know I am going to worry every time he has a ball thrown or hit to him. Francona has stuck by his guns all year with regards to who plays and hasn’t been wrong yet. I’m counting on him that this is the right decision.

Another reason for my concern is Dice K pitching tonight. Although he pitched pretty well in game seven against the Indians in the ALCS, I never know what to expect from him. To make matter worse, Dice K doesn’t like pitching in cold weather, and with the forecasters predicting temperatures in the 40′s for tonight’s game, this could pose a huge problem for Boston. Another point of concern is the thin Colorado air that toys with pitches. Balls don’t break like they are supposed to. Balls that are supposed to break out of the strike zone will come right down the pipe on a silver platter. With a pitcher like Dice K, who relies on off-speed pitches and breaking balls, this could be a big problem. Let’s hope the extra day he has spent in Colorado has prepared him for tonight.

Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. The Sox have a two-game lead in the World Series. They have been getting great pitching from the starters and the bullpen and getting a lot of runners on base. As an added bonus, Boston will face Josh Fogg tonight. A light-throwing pitcher that relies on nibbling around the plate, he reminds me of a really poor man’s Jamie Moyer. With a lineup like Boston’s, this has the potential to resemble batting practice.

The key for Boston tonight is not to play “safe” baseball. They need to continue to do the things that have got them to this point: patience at the plate, making pitchers work for their strikes, and capitalizing on mistakes.

If Boston can do these things and win tonight, pull out your broom. The series is over.

27 Responses to “Cautiously Optimistic”

  1. Mr. Anonymous Says:

    Tonight is the night the Rockies make their comeback!
    Go Rockies!
    Hey Jill, when the Rockies win the World Series.. are you going to jump on the Rockies bandwagon?

  2. Dave Says:

    I doubt that there is any room left with all the Colorado “fans” already on it. Although in two more days, there should be plenty of open spots.

  3. Dave Says:

    Where is the hell is Red Sox Nation South? M-Cubed? C-Mac?? Where are you guys?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    The Red Sox Nation-South are probably at that gay bar, Foxboroughs.
    Go Rockies!

  5. Dave Says:

    Hey Mr.Anonymous is back. I assumed you jumped off the Rookie bandwagon after they lost the first two games. Is your Mom going to let you stay up extra-late tonight to watch your team lose again?

  6. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    Well, M3 is back. I have had some issues with the family and swamped at work. I am sure you heard about the resident dying in FGCU Housing, being an RA it was kinda big.

    Now for the Sox. I have to agree with Dave. I have that odd feeling about the game tonight. I think that DiceK having alot to offer as far as “stuff” may find out his “stuff” is doing some crazy “stuff” in Denver. With Tek behind the plate, this could be some amazing pitching tonight.

    I dont agree with taking Youk out. Papi should have been used in a 7,8,9th inning pinch hit. Sit Papi, (that sounds horrible) but sit Papi, and put Lowell in the 3 hole. Protect Manny with JD Drew. Its not alot but enough to work. If you HAVE to bring in Papi in the late innings, put him at first, Youk in RIGHT. Drew can sit.

    DPed, Youk, Lowell, Manny, Drew, Tek, Lugo, Ellsbury, DiceK. Or even DiceK in the 8 hole. Thatd be interesting.

    Either way, Sox playing “minor league” ball in Denver. This could be amazing.

    Starting Line Up
    Ellsburry, Pedroia, Papi, Manny, Lowell, Drew, Tek, Lugo, DiceK. Not bad. But no Youk.

    Here we go.

  7. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    DINGER APPEARENCE!

    He looks very gay in a Barney and Baby Bob kind of way. Good job anonymus, Im sure you were their chief advisor on the “How gay can we make our mascot” committee. All it took was a trip to BK and a card board paper crown.

    jw, do you wear those when no ones looking and look in the mirror and say “Im a pretty princess?” Seems fitting for a Rockies fan who works at BK to do. You have nothing better to do. Its not like you have a decent sports team to root for or anything.

  8. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    Id bone Carrie Underwood.

  9. Dave Says:

    Welcome back M3,
    Sorry about your busy week. It’s good to have you back at thefouline. Hopefully a win tonight will help turn your week around.
    Nice assessment on tonights game.
    Go Sox!

  10. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    Who was the last team, if any, to start a World Series game line up with 2 bonafide rookies? Something to look into.

  11. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    btw, I think Tito is calling signs by how many spits the chew. He calls the signs and then spits. Im thinking its a “its on if I spit, off if it takes longer than 3 seconds.” type of deal. Either way, Tito is the man.

  12. Dave Says:

    Bad news boys,
    I just dumped a full Sam Adams on my laptop, knocking it out of commission. Updates will be coming from my Iphone, so I might be a little slow tonight. Oh well.

  13. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    You lost a good Sam Adams!?! How could you!

    Im sure the laptop is more important than the beer, but that makes a man really think… lol

  14. Dave Says:

    Good news…I’m back using my kids crappy computer. Better then nothing
    I guess. Theother good news is there are plenty more Sam Adams where that one came from. Phew..that was close.

    Also, awesome play by Dice K

  15. Dave Says:

    M3,
    I found the answer to your rookie question. Two rookie no-names Jim Rice and Fred Lynn played on the 1975 World Series. I never heard of these guys. I wonder what happened to them. :)
    Go Sox!

  16. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    You know, I should have known that. I feel like a schmuck not knowing that the great Freddy Lynn and Jim “I am severly over looked for my amazingness outside of Boston” Rice, were Rookies in such an amazing year in Red Sox lore.

    Ellsbury 2-2 1B and a 2B.

    Jacoby “I am taking your job, Coco” Ellsbury.

  17. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    D-PED WOOOOOOO! Ellsbury and Pedroia 4-4.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    will someone please explain to me why i end up seeing red sox hats at the arcadia campgrounds? everywhere you look someone has some outside tie to the red sox. this needs to be addressed.

  19. Dave Says:

    The sox are deadly when they see the pitcher a second time

  20. Dave Says:

    Red necks..Red Sox? who knows??

  21. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    DiceK just matched the entire Rockies RBI output for the series.

  22. Dave Says:

    M3,
    How about this question? Has there ever been a team to feature 3 quality rookies in the World Series before this year? Pedroia, Wonderboy and Dice K.

    Complimentary thefoulline.com magnetic calendar if you can find the answer.
    I’m not sure that there is such a team. Good luck

  23. Gizmo Says:

    I know he has only pitched 4 complete, but I had to look at a calendar to make sure tonight wasn’t Halloween. I thought Beckett might have slipped into a Japanese costume. Dice K is cruising…so far.

  24. Dave Says:

    Thanks for commenting Gizmo. You’re right, Dice K has looked awesome. The 5th inning will be the key for him. For some reason in the 5th he has a tendency to hit the wall. Keep your fingers crossed..and Happy Halloween.
    Go Sox!

  25. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    Thats not exactly a “googleable” thing. I know. I tried.

  26. Dave Says:

    M3,
    Now that I think about it, we can add Lester, Delcarmen and Okijima to the list of rookies. Add Buchholz to the mix next year. Man, does the Red Sox future look bright or what?

    You still win a thefoulline.com calendar. Email me your address and I’ll send it to you. Thanks for trying.

  27. Dave Says:

    J-Lo sucks! Put him in the same hole Gagne is hiding in.

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