Win Number Eight

A few observations on Game 1 of the MLBCS:

In a quick reversal, I am not afraid of the Rockies anymore. Oh sure, they are going to fight back hard. But let them come. The Red Sox can claerly handle it. The Sox are relentless and last night, they laid-down a multi-course beatdown. Based on the team's attitude and offensive production, I fully expect the Red Sox to win again tonight at Fenway. They will drop one or more games in Denver, but that is expected as well.

Jim Caple, ESPN:

"We were definitely a little rusty -- that's for sure," Colorado reliever LaTroy Hawkins said. "Just looking at the way we threw the ball. Our timing was off a little bit. But I guarantee you it won't take long to get that timing back.'"

I sure hope so because this was just an awful game. It got to the point that baseball's P.R. department felt it worth noting that Stephen King was seen in the stands reading a copy of Newsweek. Reading a copy of Newsweek? This game was such a dull and long affair that I'm surprised King didn't sit down and write a sequel to "The Shining" during it.

Tim McCarver's worst comment last night on Fox was his attempt to compare last night's blowout to the blowout Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, in which the Yankees beat the Sox 19-8. McCarver reminded viewers that following that smackdown, the Sox won four straight games to complete the greatest comeback in the history of American professional sports. Comparing a Game 1 blowout to a Game 3 ALCS blowout is simply not practical or useful. The Rockies are not going to suddenly become the Gas-House Gorillas. Actually, the Red Sox are playing that role right now.

Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe:

Entitled Sox fans, however, would do well to remember the 1960 New York Yankees, who beat the Pittsburgh Pirates by scores of 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0, but still lost the World Series in seven games.

Retire, Dan. Please. You're sounding like Tim McCarver. I'm not asking you to become Fox News and worship the Sox, but can you please stop bringing-up irrelevant facts until they become relevant. If the Sox lose 3-1, and then win 11-2 again, it can then be discussed. But that's a Suzyn Waldman comment. It is a swipe at the Sox that fails to acknowledge the facts on the ground. And the reports from the front lines say that the Sox are going to blow away the Rockies in Game 2.

Bob Ryan, The Boston Globe:

The simple truth was that this was all too easy. The Rockies are not that bad. Nobody is that bad. What we had here was a classic convergence of forces. If you must have an enforced layoff, you don't want to be facing a team that is currently swinging the bats as if there were some kind of "Damn Yankees" thing going on.

Wait a minute. Wasn't that what we all suspected was going on with the Rockies? Have the Sawx made Satan a better offer?

Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN:

[The] Red Sox, who lead the league in 5 o'clock shadows, looked like they had enough energy left for a bar fight against shrimpers. There was that much of a difference in swagger. That's not a rip on the Rockies, who will recover from their Game 1 dry heave, but further evidence of just how good the Red Sox are.

"We made Francis work a little bit,'' said Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who didn't play in the 2004 World Series.

A little bit? That was the longest four-inning, 103-pitch outing of Francis' life.

"Not many people last until the sixth inning against us,'' said Red Sox starter Josh Beckett.

These Red Sox aren't exactly the same character-driven circus of three seasons ago. They're not the Idiots. They don't "cowboy up." What they do is hit and pitch opposing teams into submission. They grind you down like rock to fine gravel. That's what they did to the Rockies. Three runs in the first, one in the second, two in the fourth, and seven in the decisive fifth. You could hear the screams all the way from Denver...

So dominant were the Red Sox, that about the only employee on the payroll who didn't have a hit Wednesday evening was Wally the mascot, who, by the way, arrived at the Fens in an oversized limo. Speier probably would have walked him anyway...

The Red Sox tied a World Series record with eight doubles. And those 13 total runs and the 12-run margin were the most in Game 1 history.

Jerry Crasnick, ESPN:

And a single blowout isn't necessarily a sign of things to come. The 1996 Yankees lost the World Series opener 12-1 to Atlanta, then dropped Game 2 in the Bronx before recovering to beat the Braves in six games. In 1960, Pittsburgh beat the Yankees in seven games despite suffering losses of 10-0, 12-0 and 16-3.

Good Lord. Enough. Never mind that Josh Beckett dominated like Bob Gibson last night. Can that guy get a little more respect? Derek Jeter gets put on a pedistal by the national media for playing hard. Why not Josh? Goddammit.
On the other hand, just about every scout or big-league talent evaluator you came across this season pronounced the American League worlds ahead of the National League. The "varsity vs. junior varsity'' line will appear routinely in newspaper columns across the country after Boston's 13-1 walkover in Game 1.

That's more like it. Stick with that narrative. There is a talent gap between the AL and the NL that needs to be acknowledged. Sad but true. I want a close series. However, I doubt I'm going to get it.
So now the Rockies will try to be more aggressive and pound the strike zone and get ahead in the count. And if that doesn't work, ducking and covering might be advisable...

For the sake of injecting some drama in this World Series, the Rockies better hope for a quick turnaround. In October, it's amazing how quickly yesterday's fairy tale can turn into today's roadkill.

Ken Rosenthal, the field reporter for Fox Sports had some astonishing and inaccurate comments last night in the early part of the fifth inning. He said that the Rockies beat the Cubs and the Diamondbacks. Um, didn't the Rockies beat the Phillies, and the Diamondbacks beat the Cubs? Anyway, he goes on to say that the Cubs were "overrated," and that the Diamond backs "weren't very good." So there you have it. After all this talk of the Rockies bringing their red-hot winning streak to Fenway, a member of the Fox broadcasting team throws the entire National League under the bus.

Another tidbit: I can't prove anything, but I think Tim McCarver tried to re-write history last night on Fox. He made a comment that following the 19-8 blowout loss to the Yankees in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, some Red Sox players personally congratulated the Yankees, and wised them luck against the Cardinals in the World Series. That's not possible. The 2004 NLCS was a dramatic 7-game series, overshadowed by the dramatics of the ALCS. Game 3 of the ALCS was played on October 16th. At the same time, the Cardinals had their backs against the wall, unable to beat the Astros. They turned things around on October 20th and 21st when they won games 6 and 7.

I faintly recall the stories of Red Sox players personally congratulating Yankees players being false. It was Red Sox co-owner Larry Lucchno who briefly drafted a concession statement that night. So what the hell, Tim?

Also, am I correct about that? I can't imagine Orlando Cabrera, Kevin Millar, or anyone from that 2004 team stopping by the visitor's clubhouse to with them luck in the World Series.

Oh well. Let's get back to the game that was played.

Jason Stark, ESPN:

You can mark down that 13-1 score as the most lopsided Game 1 blowout in World Series history. And if you want to chalk that up to rust, eight-day layoffs, jet lag or sea-level readjustment issues on the part of the Rockies, go right ahead.

But it sure seemed as if it had a lot more to do with (A) the Christy Mathewson of his generation (aka Josh Beckett) and (B) the hottest lineup ever to march to home plate in the annals of 103 Octobers.

Wait. Did we just say "the hottest lineup ever to march to home plate in the annals of 103 Octobers?"

Yep. We sure did. Which means ... hotter than the '27 Yankees. Hotter than the '36 Yankees. Hotter than "The Big Red Machine." Hotter even than the 2004 Red Sox.

Seriously. We can say that because this makes three straight postseason games now that these Red Sox have scored in double figures: 12 runs in Game 6 against Cleveland, 11 more runs in Game 7 against Cleveland, and another 13 runs in Game 1 of the World Series.

So let's see now. How many other teams have ever rolled up more than 10 runs in three consecutive postseason games? That would be ... exactly ... zero.


Over the last four games -- games started by C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Jake Westbrook and Wednesday's innocent victim, Jeff Francis -- the Red Sox have outscored the Indians and Rockies by the narrow margin of (yikes) 43-6.

That's 43 runs in 33 innings. Not to mention the second-largest run differential any team has piled up over a four-game span in postseason history (behind only the '96 Braves).

And what those Red Sox thumpers did Wednesday -- against a team that was 21-1 over the last five weeks, and against a pitching staff that came into this World Series with a 2.08 postseason ERA -- was flat-out ridiculous. For instance:

• The all-time World Series record for extra-base hits in a game was nine -- set 82 years ago by the 1925 Pirates (in a game started by Walter Johnson). The Red Sox not only tied that record. They'd tied it with two outs in the fifth inning.

• The most runs ever scored in Game 1 of any of the previous 102 World Series was 12. The Red Sox racked up 13 before they'd even made their 15th out.

• And no team had ever staged a two-out rally in which it went an entire turn through its lineup -- all nine hitters -- with every one of them reaching base in any inning of the previous 597 World Series games ever played. But the Red Sox did that in the fifth inning of this game (on five hits and four walks).


It means the Rockies had just gotten manhandled by one of the most patient, relentless lineups ever to show up in any World Series. And if the NL champs don't throw more strikes, they're going to meet the same fate as the Indians and Angels did in this postseason. Which ain't good, by the way.

MLBCS Game 1
Red Sox 13, Rockies 1