This game was over before it even started.
During announcements of the starting lineups, you could see the nervousness in the eyes of the Rockies players. Colorado’s starting pitcher Jeff Francis had a serious deer-in-the-headlights look going. This was their big-game pitcher, the guy who was supposed to be the one to steal a game at Fenway, and he looked like he was looking for the first bus back to British Columbia. The Rockies “Ace” lasted all of four innings, allowing six runs on ten hits.
Francis wasn’t the only Rockie that was overwhelmed last night. NL MVP Matt Holliday looked lost in the outfield and contributed an 0-for-4 night with two strikeouts. News flash to all Rockie players: You are not playing against another
Junior Varsity National League team.
I’ve said this before, the playoffs are a whole different ballgame. Everything is magnified. Some of the best players in the history of Major League Baseball have crumbled under the playoff spotlight (see Rodriguez, Alex). On the flip side, some players embrace the challenge that the playoffs offer. They have the extra gear and can kick it up a notch (see Beckett, Josh). Beckett had another dominating performance last night, with 7 innings pitched, 9 strikeouts, 1 ER, and 7 pissed-off walks back to the dugout. He could have been pitching against the 1927 New York Yankees last night and would have won. This guy lives for these moments.
The Red Sox look locked in right now offensively. They are being patient at the plate and capitalizing on every mistake. Boston crushed the ball last night: 13 runs on 17 hits was historic for the first game of the World Series. But the stat I found interesting is that Boston scored 13 runs and still left 12 guys on base. This actually could have been a lot worse for Colorado.
Apart from the big win, I enjoy games called by Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Even though Buck is really smug at times, and I think McCarver may have taken a few too many foul balls off his head, and they both seem to have an unhealthy obsession with free Taco Bell tacos, they do a pretty good job. My favorite part of the game last night came in the fourth inning. Franklin Morales came in from the bullpen. This was followed by Joe Buck going on for about five minutes on how great this guy was. How his pickoff move is the best in baseball, and that his stuff was “electric.” Well, I think maybe someone forgot to plug him in. Morales proceeded to balk a runner to second base and allowed seven runs in 2/3 of an inning. If this is the best the Rockies bullpen has to offer, I like the Sox chances.
There is some good news for the Rockies. They have Ubaldo Jimenez, a rookie pitcher who has trouble throwing strikes, facing the most patient lineup in baseball for game two. He’ll be going up against some no-name guy named Curt Schilling. Maybe they’ll have better success tonight. Then again, probably not.