Baseball Today - Wednesday, October 24

Baseball Today - Wednesday, October 24

WORLD SERIES

Colorado (7-0) at Boston (7-3)

After a record eight-day layoff, the red-hot Rockies resume their quest for their first world championship when they head to Fenway Park to battle the Red Sox, who are seeking their second crown in four years. Both teams will go with their aces in Game 1, with Colorado’s Jeff Francis (19-9, 4.11 ERA) set to oppose Boston’s Josh Beckett (23-7, 3.06).

Colorado comes into its first-ever World Series having won 21 of its last 22 games going back to the regular season, including 10 in a row. The Rockies, who had made just one previous postseason appearance in franchise history prior to this year, swept the Phillies and DBacks in the first two rounds and are the first team since the 1976 Reds to start the playoffs with seven straight wins.

After sweeping the Angels in three games in the divisional round, the Red Sox had to rally from a 3-1 series deficit against Cleveland to advance to the World Series in seven games. Boston pounded out an 11-2 victory in the Game 7 clincher at Fenway on Sunday night and outscored the Indians 30-5 in winning the final three games.

The Rockies began the first two series on the road, winning two games at Philadelphia and two in Arizona. Going back to the regular season, Colorado is on a 15-3 roll on the road. Meanwhile, the Red Sox, who won Games 6 and 7 against the Indians in Beantown, are 5-1 at home this postseason.

The Rockies got through the first round mostly because of their pitching, posting a cumulative 2.03 ERA against the Phillies and Diamondbacks, allowing a total 16 runs in seven games, including two runs or fewer five times. Conversely, The Sox have been getting it done with their bats, hitting .304 during the postseason while scoring six runs or more in seven of 10 games.


These teams met in an interleague series back in mid-June in Boston, with the Rockies taking two of three. Colorado pounded Boston’s top two pitchers – Beckett and Curt Schilling – in the two victories, which came by a cumulative score of 19-3. The Rockies’ only loss was a 2-1 setback.

Despite losing the two games to the Rockies, the Red Sox are 44-14 in their last 58 interleague games (8-4 this year). Colorado was 10-8 in interleague play in 2007 (4-5 on the road).

Francis was phenomenal in his first two career postseason starts, beating the Phillies 4-2 and the Diamondbacks 5-1, both on the road in Game 1. Pitching a combined 12 2/3 innings, he gave up a total of three earned runs (2.13 ERA) on 11 hits and three walks with 12 strikeouts. Including his playoff starts, the southpaw is 11-4 with a 4.01 ERA in 18 road starts, with Colorado going 12-6 in those contests.

One of Francis’ road victories came at Fenway Park on June 14, when he outdueled Beckett in a 7-1 victory. Francis pitched five shutout innings, scattering seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts.

Beckett has been lights out this postseason, going 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA, allowing a total of three runs and 13 hits in 23 innings, walking just one while striking out 26, as Boston won the three games by the combined tally of 21-4. The righthander beat the Indians in Games 1 and 5, giving up three runs and nine hits with one walk and 18 strikeouts in 14 innings, numbers that earned him the ALCS MVP. In two separate postseasons, Beckett is 5-2 with a 1.78 ERA in nine games (eight starts), recording a 73-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Including the playoffs, Beckett is 11-5 with a 3.82 ERA at home. However, one of those blemishes came against Colorado in that 7-1 defeat on June 14, as he survived just five innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits. In his career with the Marlins from 2002-05, however, Beckett went 4-0 with a 2.81 ERA five starts against the Rockies.

The under is 3-0 in Francis’ last three starts and 5-3-1 in Beckett’s last nine (3-2 at home).

The under is 5-2 for the Rockies in the playoffs (3-1 on the road), but the over is 5-2-3 for Boston, with the last four played at Fenway topping the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON

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Re: Baseball Today - Wednesday, October 24

What bettors need to know: Game 1 – Rockies at Red Sox
Covers.com

Colorado Rockies at Boston Red Sox

Jeff Francis vs. Josh Beckett

Francis has brought his best stuff in both starts this postseason, setting the tone for both of Colorado’s sweeps by shutting down opposing hitters. He beat both the Phillies and Diamondbacks away from home, and will have to open this World Series on the road too.

The big lefty went 17-9 with a 4.22 ERA in 34 starts this season, leading the team in wins, starts and innings pitched. Francis is not a big strikeout pitcher, but after giving up a first-inning run to the D-backs in the NLCS, he retired 12 of the next 14 hitters he faced.

Francis made one start at Fenway Park this season, giving up seven hits and no runs in five innings of work to get the win.

Beckett, the ALCS MVP, has been nothing short of dominant so far in the playoffs, winning all three of his starts. His biggest performance came in Game 5 against Cleveland last week, when he held the Indians to five hits and a single run with Boston staring elimination in the face.

The right-hander is 5-2 with a 1.78 ERA in his postseason career and has given up just three runs on nine hits in the 23 innings he’s pitched in this year’s playoffs. Beckett last faced the Rockies during June’s interleague play, giving up 10 hits and six runs in his first loss of the season.

Rockies don’t fear Fenway

The Rockies are in their first World Series, while the Red Sox are making their second trip to the Fall Classic in four years. But don’t expect the Rox to be overwhelmed at Fenway Park

Colorado has some recent success in Boston on its side.

The Rockies won two of three games during interleague play in June, outscoring the Red Sox 20-5. They were also one of only two teams to beat Boston’s top two pitchers, Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling.

"Mentally, it helps that we had some success on that field," Rockies first baseman Todd Helton told MLB.com. "We know that we can win at that place." Helton is 11-for-34 in nine career games at Fenway.

Rockies right fielder Brad Hawpe went 2-for-12 in June’s series, hitting a memorable three-run homer some 400 feet in the second game.

"That's a very tough place to play, but to go there and win two out of three games was nice," Hawpe said. “I think we knew we could play, but that series showed fans what kind of team we have."

One-two punch at the top of Boston’s order

Just at the right time, Boston’s leadoff and No. 2 hitters are hot at the plate. Rookie second baseman Dustin Pedroia and first baseman Kevin Youkilis were two of the main proponents of Boston’s comeback against the Indians, combining for 24 hits and 12 RBIs in the ALCS.

That’s particularly bad news for the Rockies when you consider that the two rookies are followed by David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell in the lineup.

"His bat has really come alive," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Youkilis on MLB.com. "He just doesn't always hit singles. If you make a mistake, he can drive the ball out of the ballpark. You put that bat in front of Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, it gets interesting."

Youkilis is batting .425 with four homers and nine RBIs this postseason.

"I think we all thought he would be just fine," Francona said of Pedroia’s struggles in the early playoff games. "Again, sometimes when you don't get hits, don't think you run away from the guys that got you here. Either you're good enough or you're not."

Pedroia is batting .286 with one homer and six RBIs in his first playoff run. Pedroia’s only homer, a two-run shot in Game 7 against the Indians, was the killer blow that secured Boston’s World Series berth.

Colorado’s flailing bats

Despite the Rockies’ impressive postseason resume, their big four hitters have actually been quiet by their standards. Todd Helton, Matt Holliday, Garret Atkins and Troy Tulowitzki are well below their regular season numbers in the playoffs.

Helton is hitting .194. Matt Holliday – who had a .340 average during the regular season – is hitting just .283 in October, while Atkins and Tulowitzki are hitting .185 and .179 respectively.

As a team, the Rockies had a National League-leading .280 average in the regular season, but that has dropped to .242 in the playoffs.

"Our offense is doing enough to win," Rockies hitting coach Alan Cockrell told MLB.com. "We've come up with some really big clutch hits late in ballgames to win games. In that regard, there is no change to what they did over the last three weeks.

"If anything, some inconsistency in playing every day has affected some guys. They've been doing enough to win ballgames, and that's all you want this time of year."

One area where the Rockies have been doing damage this postseason is with runners in scoring positions. Colorado is hitting .283 with runners on base in October, compared to .276 in the regular season.

Rested or rusty?

The Rockies’ eight-day break between the NLCS and the World Series has some experts speculating that the hottest team in baseball might turn cold. But Colorado’s players and coaching staff are adamant they are ready.

“I don't think the wait will bother this team," starting pitcher Jeff Francis told the San Bernardino Sun this week. “This is a team that knows how to stay focused. Everyone on this team knows what they have to do to get ready, and we will be ready.”

Manager Clint Hurdle also weighed in on the wait: "It beats the alternative.

"We could have had to get on a plane and fly to Arizona for more games and a possible four months of downtime."

The Rockies might be right considering that seven of the 10 teams that had to wait five or more days ended up winning the World Series.

Not surprisingly, the Red Sox disagree. They feel the momentum is with them after coming back from a 3-1 deficit against Cleveland.

“I think you don’t want to have too much time off, especially hitters because of timing and things like that,” Sox rookie outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury told the Boston Herald. “But I think the rest we have is perfect for us.”

“Baseball is a game of routine,” right fielder J.D. Drew added. “Throughout the season, you have two days off a month. Sometimes you don’t even want days off because you find yourself in a good rhythm, so hopefully, we can take these two days, get enough rest and catch up and be ready to go.”

Weather worries

The latest forecasts at game time (8 p.m. ET) put the chance of rain in Boston at 60 percent, making it a strong possibility there will be showers throughout the game.

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Baseball today - Wednesday, Oct. 24
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD Wednesday, Oct. 24

Colorado at Boston (8:35 p.m. EDT). The Rockies meet the Red Sox in Game 1 of the World Series. Colorado took two of three at Fenway Park in June, outscoring Boston 20-5.

THE SEARCH CONTINUES

After four seasons as a coach, Don Mattingly was interviewed Tuesday to replace departed New York Yankees manager Joe Torre. Yankees broadcaster Joe Girardi interviewed a day earlier, and first base coach Tony Pena is due to speak with team officials Wednesday. Mattingly became one of the most beloved players in Yankees history after being drafted in the 19th round in 1979, batting .307 with 2,153 hits and 1,099 RBIs during a 14-year career diminished by back injuries.

PROBLEM SOLVED

Colorado sold out all three World Series games at Coors Field on Tuesday, one day after their first attempt collapsed in a computer-system crash blamed on people trying to fool the system to hoard tickets. The Rockies, who had labeled the problem as an ''external, malicious attack'', said they sold more than 50,000 tickets in the second round of ticket sales in about 2 1/2 hours.

COOKING UP A ROTATION


Aaron Cook was added Tuesday to Colorado's roster for the World Series, and he'll start Game 4 at home against Boston. Cook, the Rockies' opening-day starter, hasn't pitched in a major league game since Aug. 10 because of a strained muscle in his side. In June, Cook lost a 2-1 decision at Boston despite allowing just two runs on seven hits in 7 1-3 innings.

SHUFFLING SOX

Boston manager Terry Francona announced Tuesday that Jacoby Ellsbury will start Game 1 in center field in place of Coco Crisp. Crisp struggled in the playoffs and was replaced in the lineup for Games 6 and 7 against Cleveland, and he also banged into the wall catching the final out of the ALCS. Also, knuckleballer Tim Wakefield was left off the roster because of a bad shoulder.

MEN IN BLUE

Ed Montague will serve as the crew chief for the World Series, the fourth time he's drawn the umpiring assignment. The six-man crew announced Tuesday includes three umpires working their first Series: Ted Barrett, Laz Diaz and Mike Everitt. Chuck Meriwether and Mike Reilly complete the crew. Montague will be behind the plate in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night.

MORE MARINERS MOVES

Seattle signed former major league pitching coach and executive Dave Wallace on Tuesday to be a special assistant to the general manager. Wallace spent this past season as the pitching coach for Houston after 3 1/2 seasons in the same job with Boston. During spring training, Wallace will work with new pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, whom the Mariners hired on Monday.

SPEAKING

''I've heard that experience thing come up a lot, but in my own mind I've been managing for the last four years, and to be honest with you, as a player you're playing along the whole time.'' - Don Mattingly on possibly being named the Yankees manager despite not having any managerial experience. Mattingly has been a coach on the team the past four seasons.

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Rockies' Cook added to World Series roster, to start Game 4
October 23rd, 2007

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies have activated pitcher Aaron Cook from the disabled list and plan to start the right-hander in Game 4 of the World Series against the Red Sox.

Cook has been on the shelf since August 11 with a strained oblique muscle. He could have been activated for the National League Championship Series, but the Rockies cautioned on the conservative side.

Cook went 8-7 with a 4.12 ERA in 25 starts this season, going 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA since the All-Star break. He takes the roster spot of Taylor Buchholz, who was on both the NLDS and NLCS rosters, but did not play.

Colorado plans to start ace Jeff Francis in Game 1 on Wednesday followed by Ubaldo Jimenez in Game 2 on Thursday and Josh Fogg in Game 3 on Saturday.

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MLB announces 2007 World Series umpires
October 23rd, 2007

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Ed Montague will serve as crew chief for the 2007 World Series, Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday.

The 32-year umpiring veteran will also be behind home plate for Game 1 on Wednesday, and head a six-man crew that includes Laz Diaz (1B), Ted Barrett (2B), Chuck Meriwether (3B), Mike Everitt (LF), and Mike Reilly (RF).

Montague, Reilly, and Meriwether have umpired in the World Series before. Montague has done so five times, and as recently as 2004. Reilly umpired in three Fall Classics, most recently in 2002, and Meriwether was an umpire in 2004.

That trio also has the most postseason umpiring experience - Montague with 20 series, Reilly with 17, and Meriwether with 10. Barrett and Everitt have each umpired in seven postseason series.

Diaz has the least, having umpired three division series.

All six umpires were assigned to a division series in 2007

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Rockies-Red Sox outlook
VegasInsider.com

World Series 2007

The teams are now set for the Fall Classic and in some ways the Colorado Rockies and the Boston Red Sox would be viewed as two very unlikely participants. The Rockies appearance has everyone talking as they have put together a winning streak that is truly amazing on every level. Baseball is not thought of as a momentum game due to the fact that so many games are played. Simply put, teams can’t get too high or too low if they are going to be successful, but the Rockies have some kind of mojo working and it has gotten them to the World Series in very easy fashion.

The Red Sox appearance seemed unlikely a week ago - not that they don’t have a good team – but that they were down to a very good Indians team three games to one. Boston had to beat Cleveland’s best three pitchers to punch their ticket. As unlikely of a match up that we now have, it is by far a match-up featuring the two teams playing the absolute best baseball right now so let’s take a look at some factors that will determine this year’s champion.

Pitching:

No outcome of a baseball game or series can be determined without looking at the pitching staffs. Today’s game has turned into a battle of bullpens as starters are not asked to do anywhere near what they use to be. Now if they get five innings in they are said to have done their job so let’s look at these two staffs back to front. Both bullpens have been about as good as it gets so far in the post season. The Rockies ERA is in the two’s and if you throw out a couple of seven run innings in the ALCS the Red Sox pen has gotten it done to near perfection as well. We will call this one a draw going in but watch out for the Rockies pen to be tested a little more often as well as earlier. That's because the Red Sox lineup is by far the best group of hitters Colorado has seen this postseason.

The starting staffs are where on paper you see the biggest edge in this series favoring the Red Sox. Colorado’s Francis has been great and Fogg has even chipped in well at times. However, after those two, you are looking at Jimenez and Morales who are rookies and we feel they will be very shaky with this kind of pressure on them. The only upside for the Rockies is that since the series will start in Boston – the young pitchers will likely get their 'World Series feet' wet in Colorado and not at Fenway Park. Beckett has been a postseason monster and has been able to stay on regular rest, Schilling has been up and down but you can’t overlook his experience and Dice-K answered a lot of questions with his ALCS game seven performance. Boston’s starters have earned the edge here and if they are able to go deep in their outings it will be very tough for the young Rockies hitters.

Offense:

We might give the Rockies the slight edge here as their line up has been very balanced top to bottom. The Red Sox on the other hand have holes at the bottom and that could prove very costly in the series if either Ortiz or Ramirez struggle. However, the chances of that are slim as both have been outstanding this postseason but if the Rockies find a way to get around them runs might be hard to come by for Red Sox Nation. If the Rockies pitchers hold their own the National League style of play might be a huge advantage. As good as the Rockies have been getting the runs they need we will call the offensive match up a draw as the World Series is the World Series and the experienced Red Sox hitters understand that and will be patient at the plate.

Wild Card:

Hard to think that we wouldn’t give this category to the Rockies but it really would be too good to be true to think that they can keep up the pace they are on. The underdog role has been good to them and it is true that they might actually benefit from being too young to really know what they have gotten themselves into. However, as we said earlier – the World Series is the World Series and ultimately they will feel the pressure. The Rockies are also facing a Red Sox team that has been the best team in baseball all year. They have the arms and the bats and just got done beating baseball's second and third best teams. I doing so the Red Sox never worried or looked the slightest bit panicked.

Boston manager Terry Francona threw Tim Wakefield in game four of the ALCS knowing a loss could put them a game away from elimination. A loss is what they got but the Sox never flinched and took three in a row and showed a little magic of their own as they brought the World Series back to Boston. They are top to bottom a better team and we see them bringing another banner to Beantown.

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Rox vs. Sox: 103rd World Series kicks off at Fenway
October 24th, 2007

(Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies will try and continue one of the most impressive runs in recent memory when they open the 103rd edition of the World Series tonight against the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the best-of-seven set at Fenway Park.

Rain, though, is in the forecast for Boston tonight.

Colorado has incredibly won 21 of its last 22 games to get to this point and enters the Fall Classic on a 10-game winning streak and the first team to sweep not only the division series, but the League Championship Series as well.

With a victory tonight, the Rockies would match the longest winning streak in one postseason. The 2005 Chicago White Sox took eight in a row to win the World Series, a year after the Red Sox did it by sweeping St. Louis after overcoming a 3-0 deficit to beat the New York Yankees in the ALCS.

However, you would have had a hard time convincing people in early September that the Rockies would be in this position, as they found themselves as many as six games out of a playoff spot and were 4 1/2 games back of the wild card with nine games to play. However, they ripped off 13 wins in their final 14 contests of the regular season and forced a one-game playoff with the San Diego Padres to determine the NL wild card that they won with three runs in the bottom of the 13th inning.

Their amazing streak carried into the postseason, as the Rockies swept the NL East champion Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS and rolled over the NL West champion Arizona Diamondbacks to claim their first NL pennant. The Rockies have been behind after only four of the 65 innings they've played in the playoffs.

But because of the sweep against the Diamondbacks, the Rockies have not played since October 15. Last year the Detroit Tigers were in a similar position with six days of rest entering the World Series and never really got it going against St. Louis, falling in five games to the Cardinals.

What has been so remarkable is how Colorado is winning. Known primarily for their bats, it has been the Rockies pitching that has carried them here in the postseason, as they have pitched to a playoff-best 2.08 earned run average.

Getting the call tonight for the Rockies will be left-hander Jeff Francis, who has established himself as one of the best pitchers in the NL in these playoffs, going 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA.

Francis, who won 17 games in the regular season, managed to beat the Red Sox in Fenway in the finale of a three-game set in June, as he scattered seven hits over five innings to nail down the victory in his only other start against them.

Colorado's offense is led by MVP candidate Matt Holliday, who led the NL in hitting, as well as RBI this season. After a so-so division series, Holliday turned it on in the NLCS, batting .333 with a pair of home runs and four RBI to earn MVP honors.

First baseman Todd Helton had to wait 1,578 games to finally get to the postseason, but has struggled mightily thus far. He has just four hits in 26 at-bats and has knocked in only one run.

Another player that has to get going for the Rockies is rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. After hitting .291 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI in the season, Tulowitzki is batting just .179 in the postseason with a homer and two RBI.

Boston, meanwhile, lived up to its huge expectations entering the season and ended the New York Yankees nearly decade long stranglehold on the American League East, winning its first division title since 1995.

After sweeping the AL West champion Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ALDS, the Red Sox had to overcome a 3-1 deficit to beat the AL Central champion Cleveland Indians in seven games to claim their second AL pennant in four years.

The Red Sox will hand the ball tonight to AL Cy Young Award candidate Josh Beckett, who was 20-7 with a 3.27 ERA this season. Beckett has been even better since the start of the postseason, going a perfect 3-0 with a sparkling 1.17 ERA in his three starts and was named the ALCS MVP.

Beckett, who was the World Series MVP in 2003 while with the Florida Marlins, has been incredible in the playoffs over the course of his young career. In nine postseason games, Beckett is 5-2 with a 1.78 ERA.

The 27-year-old right-hander's first loss of the season, though, came at the hands of Francis and the Rockies in that contest in June. He was battered for six runs and 10 hits in just five innings. However, he is 4-1 lifetime against the Rockies with a 3.89 ERA in six starts.

Of course, Boston's lineup is fueled by Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. Ramirez, who took some heat for comments he made against the Indians, is hitting .400 this postseason with four home runs and 14 RBI. Ortiz is batting .387 with three homers.

While Colorado will be playing in its first-ever Fall Classic, Boston will be trying for its seventh title and will be appearing in its 11th World Series.

When these teams met during the regular season, Colorado took two out of three from the Red Sox at Fenway in June. Colorado outscored Boston 20-5, dropping the first game 2-1 before winning the next two, 12-2 and 7-1.

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World Series may be better than you think
October 24th, 2007

(Sports Network) - I have to admit I had zero interest in last year's World Series between the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals. I lucked out too, because it turned out to be a snooze fest.

I may be in the minority here, but I am actually looking forward to this year's Fall Classic between the Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox, and I don't think it will be quite the beat-down that most people are assuming it will be.

Colorado is the real deal. You don't win 21 of 22 games by accident. The Rockies have a legitimate ace in Jeff Francis, a bona fide MVP candidate in Matt Holliday and a bullpen that is every bit as good as Boston's.

The Rockies, though, have lost a little bit of their mojo with this eight-day layoff. Eight days? That is crazy. They can play all the intrasquad simulated games they want, none of them will have the intensity they will face in Fenway Park on Wednesday.

Colorado can spin it any way they like. There is no way they wanted to sit this long after being so hot. The Tigers also won seven in a row heading into last year's World Series and had a six-day break from playing actual games. They seemed out of if from the start and never got it going against the Cards, falling in five games.

Not to state the obvious here, but if the Rockies have any chance of winning this series, they are going to have get one of the first two games in Boston. Sports Network managing editor Jim Gillis seems to think that if they win Game 1 they could sweep, thinking they will just continue their roll right on through.

I can't imagine Boston being swept, but I can see them getting to Josh Beckett. He has just been so good in the playoffs thus far, he is due for a dud. Why not now? The Rockies already hit him hard this season, tagging him with his first loss of the season in the finale of their three-game set in June.

As much as I would like to think all that is going to happen, though, I keep going back to two things - Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. They have both been monsters this postseason, and are absolutely going to rake Colorado's pitching.

Francis may give them fits in Game 1, but if Beckett is dealing, it might not even matter.

Once you get past Francis, there is nothing there. Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Fogg, Aaron Cook? This is your World Series staff? Boston's lineup is going to do some serious damage to that group.

While we are on that topic, why is Colorado manager Clint Hurdle throwing Cook in Game 4 instead of Franklin Morales? Cook hasn't pitched since August 10 because of an oblique injury. You really want a guy that has thrown just a couple of simulated games in the last two months going for you when chances are you are going to be behind at that point in the series?

Stick with what got you there, Clint.

If it is offense that you crave, this is the series for you. The Rockies led the NL with a .280 average, and were second only to the Philadelphia Phillies in runs scored (860). Boston hit .279 on the year with 867 runs scored.

Game 3's matchup between Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Fogg in Coors Field has a 14-13 slugfest written all over it. I hope there is some snow in the mix in that one too.

Tuesday was the 14th anniversary of Joe Carter breaking the hearts of fans in Philadelphia with his World Series winning home run in 1993. I reminded some of my Philly friends of that just to rub it in, then someone brought up the point that that was Game 6 of that series. This year's World Series hasn't even begun yet.

Rain is in the forecast for Wednesday and parts of Thursday in Boston. If this series goes seven games, it will already be carrying into November. A few rainouts or snowouts in Denver and MLB could have a real problem on its hands.

Either way, though, I am looking forward to the start of this series.

Both teams are going to hit. I am certain of that. Boston, though, is just going to pitch a little better. The Red Sox have two of the best postseason pitchers ever going for them, while the Rockies have nothing but question marks. Would I be shocked if the Rockies won? No, probably not, but I am not picking them. Then again, I haven't picked them at all in the postseason, and they continue to prove me wrong.

Red Sox in six games.

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