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10/25/2007 10:57:00 AM

WS: It's still a Series

By Joe Lemire

Was Game 1 proof that Boston will roll to a World Series crown? Are the Red Sox really that much better than the Rockies? Is the National League that much inferior to the American League?

No way, absolutely not and, well, maybe.

The NL certainly doesn't have the depth of teams and players as the AL currently enjoys -- and last night's series opener was played in Boston because the AL won the All-Star Game -- but the Rockies are as much a threat to win this series as they were yesterday.

Sure, the margin of Boston's victory was unexpectedly emphatic, but in no way does this change the complexion of the series. Anyone who might have picked Colorado in six or seven games would probably have sat down before the series, looked at a Game 1 in Fenway with Josh Beckett on the mound and tallied the opener into the column for expected Red Sox wins.

It may be troubling to see Rockies' ace Jeff Francis struggle mightily, and for Beckett to have maintained his postseason aura of invincibility (which will likely return in Game 5 and in relief in Game 7) and, most of all, to see the entirety of Boston's lineup contribute. David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez have been superhuman all postseason, but suddenly everyone else in the Sox' order is contributing, too.

Every starter, save Jacoby Ellsbury, contributed a hit, including multi-hit games from Manny, Papi, Kevin Youkilis, J.D. Drew, Jason Varitek and Julio Lugo. Those last three players batted .270, .255 and .237, respectively, during the regular season. Dustin Pedroia led off the game with a solo homer, very reminiscent of 2004, when the Sox scored in the first inning of all four World Series games. The Sox have now scored 43 runs in their last four games.

Colorado sends Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound tonight, he of the 89.2 career innings, but he's allowed just two earned runs in his two postseason starts, spanning 11.1 innings. He's a true power pitcher, hitting 100 mph often, which isn't something Boston has this season (C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona throw hard, but not that hard). That could be a challenge for the Sox to speed up their bats, but patience will be the key -- Jimenez has walked eight already in the playoffs.

And patience will be key for everyone else, too. This World Series is far from over.

  • So much has already been written this postseason, but Beckett dominated again last night. And Gordon Edes of the Globe compares Beckett to Bob Gibson in 1967. His first 17 pitches were all fastballs clocked between 95 and 97 mph.

  • Jackie MacMullan writes that the Sox have found solutions to all their problems.

  • There's no ignoring the difference in payrolls.

  • The Denver Post's Woody Paige says Game 1 was a disaster for the Rockies, but the series is far from over.

  • Francis really wasn't very good last night.

  • Dave Krieger of the Rocky Mountain News says the Rockies played like kids.

  • Bernie Lincicome writes that the Rockies are the new kids in an old park. Kudos for the Josh "Bend It Like" Beckett nickname.

  • The NY Times wrote a pair of nice features on Matt Holliday and Mike Lowell.

  • ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski tells Red Sox Nation to stop the love affair with 2004 and adopt this great '07 team.

  • If Game 1 is any indication, the official snack of the Sox might be Colorado Cookies.

  • And a great snapshot of Manny's children, Manny Jr. and Manuel.
  • Labels:

    posted by SI.com | View comments |


    Posted: October 26, 2007 2:00 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
    Well, for Rockie fans(or, shall I say, disgrunted Yankee fans in disguise) like Lemire, at least the consoling factor here is that Colorado took the series from Boston that mattered most back in June.

    So, chin up, all.
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