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Posted: Thursday October 25, 2007 3:18AM; Updated: Thursday October 25, 2007 3:18AM
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World Series Report Card
Game 1: Red Sox 13, Rockies 1
There's hot ... and then there's the Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia
AP
You know, the Red Sox were pretty hot coming into Game 1 of the World Series, too. They weren't 10-straight-wins hot, maybe. They hadn't, like the Rockies, won 21 of 22.

Still, the Sox had dismantled the Indians over the final three games of the ALCS, embarrassing them over the last two games (12-2 and 11-2). They had blown through the Angels in the first round, sweeping them.

"We've been swinging the bats pretty good," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said Wednesday night, in maybe the biggest understatement of Boston's postseason.

How hot are the Sox? Wednesday in Game 1, they had 17 hits in 41 at-bats (.415), pushing their postseason team batting average to -- get this -- .316 in 10 postseason games. They scored 11 of their 13 runs Wednesday -- the last 11, in fact -- with two outs. They had eight doubles and a home run. And much of that -- including five doubles and the homer -- came against the Rockies' best starter, Jeff Francis.

A lot was made before Game 1 of the Rockies' long layoff after sweeping the National League Championship. (They had last played on Oct. 15.) But this wasn't about the Rockies being rusty. This was about the Sox being hot.

Yes. Even hotter than the Rockies.
 
Game Grades
RockiesRed Sox

D
 
Yorvit Torrealba - C
0-for-3, 1 strikeout
The big home run in the NLCS is all but forgotten now. The Yorvit we saw on Wednesday night -- especially the one buckled by a Beckett breaking ball in the fifth -- probably was the real one.

A
 
Jason Varitek - C
2-for-4, double, 2 RBIs
Tek's bases-loaded, two-out double off Jeff Francis in the fourth inning looked pretty big -- at the time. He struck out twice, too, but we'll forget the one in the sixth. He did us a favor by speeding things up.

B
 
Todd Helton - 1B
2-for-4, double
Playing in his first World Series game, Helton acquitted himself well. His fourth-inning double high off the Monster could have started something. But then Josh Beckett got busy, and Helton was stranded.

A
 
Kevin Youkilis - 1B
2-for-5, 2 doubles, 3 runs, RBI
His fifth-inning double off Franklin Morales drove in a run, the first of seven two-out runs scored in that inning. Youkilis is hitting .422 this postseason (19-for-45). Gotta keep him in the lineup in Denver.

D
 
Kaz Matsui - 2B
1-for-4
Matsui's hit was an infield single in the sixth. He was patient enough in the first, getting Beckett to a 3-0 count. But Beckett got serious, struck him out with a 97 mph heater, and that was that.

B
 
Dustin Pedroia - 2B
1-for-5, HR, BB, 2 RBIs
Pedroia blasted Francis' second pitch off the top of the Monster to start things and drew a bases-loaded walk in the brutal fifth. He always seems to swing too big. But he came up big leading off.

C
 
Garrett Atkins - 3B
1-for-4, double, run
Atkins was the first to get to Beckett -- after four straight strikeouts to open the game -- when he lifted a pop fly off the wall for a double and later scored the sole Colorado run. Whoopee, eh?

B
 
Mike Lowell - 3B
1-for-3, double, run, 2 BBs
Lowell missed an opportunity in the first when he popped up after a controversial strike call that should have been ball four. But he ripped the double in the fifth. He'll be hard to sit in Denver, too.

B
 
Troy Tulowitzki - SS
2-for-3, 2 doubles, RBI
Tulo drove in the only Colorado run with a two-out double in the second inning off the wall in left-center. He was, as usual, better than good in the field, too. All in all, a good start for the rookie.

A
 
Julio Lugo - SS
3-for-4, BB
He singled and walked in the fifth, against two different pitchers. Strangely, though he was on base four times, he was the only Boston starter not to score a run. Not even in the fifth inning.

D
 
Matt Holliday - LF
0-for-4, 2 strikeouts
It's been an uneasy postseason for Holliday, who now is hitting .250 in eight games -- not exactly MVPish. The 4-6-3 double play he hit into in the sixth inning didn't help matters, either.

A
 
Manny Ramirez - LF
3-for-4, double, 3 runs, 2 RBIs, BB
The hairy one is now hitting .441 this postseason. He drove in a run in the first, blooped in another in the fifth and even made a nice -- kind of -- running catch in left center. Hard to believe, isn't it?

F
 
Willy Tavares - CF
0-for-4, 2 strikeouts
He struck out looking to start things in the first, struck out looking against Timlin in the eighth and, in between, did next to nothing. For a leadoff man, fast Willy didn't do much leading in Game 1.

D
 
Jacoby Ellsbury - CF
0-for-4, run, RBI
The sum total of Ellsbury's contributions came in the fifth -- and he was not alone -- when he drew one of three straight bases-loaded walks. He didn't get a good bunt down in his first time up that inning.

F
 
Brad Hawpe - RF
0-for-4, 4 strikeouts
Looking, swinging, looking, swinging. His last one was against Eric Gagne, ending the game. Hawpe now has 12 strikeouts in eight postseason games. The Rockies need him if they're to compete.

A
 
J.D. Drew - RF
2-for-5, run, 2 RBIs
His first-inning double, ripped down the right field line off Francis, staked his team to a 3-0 lead. And his two-out single off Tulowitzki's glove in the fifth, really, was just piling on at that point.

D
 
Ryan Spilborghs - DH
0-for-2, BB
Hitting at the bottom of the lineup, we hardly had a chance to see Spilborghs, so we'll give him a break -- though, when you get to 3-0 on Beckett (as he did in the third), you need to get that walk.

A
 
David Ortiz - DH
3-for-5, 2 doubles, 2 runs, 2 RBIs
A perfectly-placed earth-burning two-out double in the second drove in Youkilis from first and was a perfect answer to the Rocks' run earlier that inning. So, how can you sit Papi when the Sox lose the DH in Denver?

F
 
Jeff Francis - SP
Four innings, 10 hits, 6 earned runs
When the ace of your staff is lit up for a homer on his second pitch of the game -- thank you, Mr. Pedroia -- it doesn't bode well for the rest of the night. The lefty Francis gave up three first-inning runs, managed one scoreless inning, gave up six extra-base hits and killed his bullpen. Ouch.

A
 
Josh Beckett - SP
Seven innings, 6 hits, 9 strikeouts, BB
What more can you want out of this guy? His strikeout-to-walk ratio (35:2) in 30 innings of work this postseason is incredible. He was painting 95 mph fastballs, and up, on the corners as he struck out the side in the first inning. His curve buckled Torrealba's knees in the fifth. Just filthy.

F
 
Bullpen
Four innings, 7 hits, 4 BBs, 7 earned runs
The first two men out of the bullpen, lefty Franklin Morales and righty Ryan Speier, maybe should have stayed penned. Morales gave up six hits and seven runs in 2/3 of an inning. He wasn't helped out by Speier, who issued three straight bases-loaded walks in a dreadful fifth inning.

A
 
Bullpen
Two innings, 3 strikeouts
Mike Timlin came on in the eighth and was perfect, striking out two and getting a popup. With a 12-run lead, the Sox entrusted the game to the previously hittable Gagne, who mowed through Helton and Atkins, then struck out Hawpe to finish things. He may get to pitch again this Series.

I
 
Bench
The Rockies went with their starters the whole game -- and a lot of good that did them. To be fair, the bench couldn't have put any dent in the Sox in this game, anyway. So we'll let 'em slide.

C
 
Bench
The Sox substituted freely with a big lead, giving Ramirez and Lugo a rest, getting Coco Crisp and Alex Cora in and getting Eric Hinske an at-bat (he struck out). That may help down the road.

C
 
Clint Hurdle - Manager
I'm not sure that letting Matt Herges throw 25 pitches in a lost cause was really worth it. The Rocks will need him later. And a couple of minor decisions didn't work out. But, really, the Baseball Mensa Club, in all its glory, couldn't have managed the Rocks any closer in Game 1. This isn't on Hurdle.

B
 
Terry Francona - Manager
You wonder about leaving Beckett in a blowout for seven innings, but he didn't throw a ton of pitches (93), and by letting him go, Francona saved the 'pen. I'm fine with that. He also got some regulars some rest, maybe jacked up Gagne's confidence some ... hey, things worked out.
 
Field Notes
Franklin Morales
AP
The 13 runs scored by the Sox were the most ever scored by a team in Game 1 of the World Series, and the 12-run victory margin was the most ever for a Game 1. ... A solid rain fell for most of the game, making a mess of the area in front of the dugouts. ... In four games of the NLCS against the Diamondbacks, the Rockies allowed eight runs. They gave up seven Wednesday night in the fifth inning alone. ... The Sox have won five straight World Series games, dating to their sweep of the Cardinals in the '04 Series. ... The Colorado pitchers didn't record a 1-2-3 inning until LaTroy Hawkins put down the Sox in the eighth.
 
Quotable
"We're a no-excuse ballclub. Always have been. We're going to be. We got outplayed tonight."
-- Colorado manager Clint Hurdle
 
Looking Ahead
Game 2 at Fenway Park features postseason hero Curt Schilling of the Red Sox against rookie Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rocks. The veteran edge clearly goes to the righty Schilling, who is 10-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 18 career postseason starts, including the famed bloody sock game in the 2004 World Series and his last start, a very good two-run, seven-inning, six-hit, series-tying affair against the Indians in Game 6 of the ALCS. The 23-year-old Jimenez faces the most difficult start of his career. He's been good but wild this postseason, with four walks against both the Phillies in the NLDS and the Diamondbacks in the NLCS. Still, his team won both games, the righty put up a 1.59 ERA in 11 1/3 innings and opponents hit just .200 off him. He'll need to keep the ball down in Fenway or this could be an awfully short night for him, and another long one for his team.
 

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