Baseball Today - Thursay, October 25

Baseball Today - Thursay, October 25

Baseball Today - Thursay, October 25
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD Thursday, Oct. 25

Colorado at Boston (8:29 p.m. EDT). Ubaldo Jimenez tries to help the Rockies rebound, facing Curt Schilling in Game 2 of the World Series.

STARS

-Josh Beckett, Red Sox, allowed six hits in seven innings, struck out nine and walked one, improving to 4-0 with a 1.20 ERA in the postseason this year, and Boston pounded Colorado 13-1.

RED SOX ROCKIN'

Back in the World Series with no Bambino's curse to worry about, Boston flattened Colorado 13-1 in Wednesday night's opener. The Red Sox set a record for runs and victory margin in an opener and finished with 17 hits, becoming the first club to hit eight doubles in a Series game since 1925.

QUITE A START

Josh Beckett started the World Series with a rare feat, fanning Willy Taveras, Kaz Matsui, Matt Holliday and Todd Helton to become the first pitcher to strike out the first four batters in a Series game since Sandy Koufax got five Yankees to start the 1963 Series, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

PEDROIA'S POWER


Dustin Pedroia became only the second player to hit a leadoff home run in a World Series opener, lining a shot over the Green Monster in Boston's 13-1 win over Colorado on Wednesday. Pedroia was the 31st player overall to homer in his first career at-bat in the Series. He became the 18th player to hit a leadoff home run in any Series game and the first since Johnny Damon did so for the Red Sox in Game 4 in 2004.

HOPE FOR ROCKIES

Boston routed Colorado 13-1 on Wednesday, spoiling the Rockies' first World Series game in franchise history. The winner of the World Series opener has gone on to win nine of the last 10 championships and 62 of 102 overall. While the 1959 Chicago White Sox and 1996 Atlanta Braves both won their openers by 11 runs, they went on to lose the Series.

NEW SKIPPER?

The Yankees could hire a new manager by the end of this week. After spending two seasons as New York's first-base coach, Tony Pena interviewed Wednesday to replace departed manager Joe Torre. Yankees broadcaster Joe Girardi interviewed Monday and bench coach Don Mattingly on Tuesday. Hank Steinbrenner, son of owner George Steinbrenner, said Wednesday the team wasn't planning any more interviews.

SPEAKING

''That's not the way we drew it up.'' - Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, after his team lost Game 1 of the World Series 13-1 following an eight-day layoff. Colorado had won 21 of their last 22, losing just once in 38 days before running into Boston's buzz saw.

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Re: Baseball Today - Thursay, October 25

Colorado (7-1) at Boston (8-3)

The Rockies look to bounce back from a Game 1 shellacking when they send rookie Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4, 3.95 ERA) to the mound for his first World Series appearance. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will go with veteran Curt Schilling (11-8, 3.82), who will be making his seventh career start in the Fall Classic and his 19 postseason start overall.

Boston snapped the Rockies’ 10-game winning streak in impressive fashion last night, rolling 13-1 in Game 1 of the best-of-7 series. The Red Sox, who have won four in a row by the combined score of 43-6, pounded out 17 hits and have now scored 83 runs in their 11 postseason games. Finally, they’re 6-1 at home this month.

Colorado, which entered the Series as the first team since the 1976 Reds to start the playoffs with seven straight wins, dropped to 21-2 in their last 23 overall with Wednesday’s loss. The Rockies are still 15-4 in their last 19 road games.

The Red Sox are now 45-14 in their last 59 interleague games, including 9-4 this year. Colorado is 10-9 against the American League, including 2-2 in Boston.

Jimenez has been terrific in his first postseason, helping Colorado beat the Phillies 2-1 in Game 2 of the NLDS and the DBacks 3-2 in Game 2 of the NLCS. He allowed just a single run in each outing, giving up a combined eight hits and eight walks in 11 1/3 innings, although he didn’t earn a decision in either game. Going back to his final regular-season start, Jimenez is 0-0 with a 1.53 ERA in his last three trips to the mound, and Colorado has prevailed in each of his last five starts.

Including the playoff game at Arizona back on Oct. 12, Jimenez is 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA in seven road starts, with the Rockies going 4-3.

Schilling is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three playoff starts this month, all at home, giving up 11 runs (nine earned) in 22 2/3 innings with five walks and 13 strikeouts. The righthander pitched seven scoreless innings in a 9-1 win against the Angels in Game 2 of the divisional round and surrendered two runs in seven innings in a 12-2 rout of Cleveland in Game 6 of the ALCS. His only poor outing came in Game 2 against the Indians when he got rocked for five runs in 4 2/3 innings, failing to get a decision in Boston’s 13-6 loss.

Including his three playoff starts, Schilling is 5-3 with a 4.23 ERA in 15 games at Fenway this season. One of those losses, however, came against Colorado back on June 13, when he yielded six runs (five earned) on nine hits in five innings in a 12-2 defeat. Going back to 2002 when he was with the Diamondbacks, Schilling has faced the Rockies five times, allowing a total of 25 earned runs in 32 1/3 innings (6.96 ERA), and Colorado won four of those five contests.

Schilling has been a stud in the World Series, going 3-1 with a 2.11 ERA in six lifetime starts.

Jimenez has followed up a 4-0 “over” streak by staying under the total in his last three outings. Conversely, the over is 3-0 in Schilling’s last three efforts and 9-5-1 when he pitches at Fenway.

The under is 5-3 for the Rockies in the playoffs (3-2 on the road), but the over is 6-2-3 for Boston, with the last five played at Fenway topping the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON and OVER

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Intriguing pitching matchup set for World Series Game 2
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON -- Curt Schilling brings a wealth of postseason experience into Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night.

Ubaldo Jimenez? He totes a ton of playoff exuberance - along with a million-dollar smile and a 100 mph fastball.

The 40-year-old Schilling can't match Colorado's 23-year-old rookie on the radar gun, but he sports one of the best postseason resumes in baseball: 10-2 with 23 walks, 116 strikeouts and a 2.25 ERA.

''With the miles that have been put on his shoulder and the games he's pitched, he's not the guy that can pitch 96, 97 anymore,'' Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Wednesday. ''But he can still pitch very effectively and still navigate his way through some lineups.''

After a trying 2007 season in which he went 9-8 and spent seven weeks on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right shoulder, Schilling went 2-0 in the AL playoffs with one walk, 12 strikeouts and a 3.38 ERA.

He twice faced Cleveland ace Fausto Carmona in the AL championship series, which he said gave him extra juice. He hopes to recapture that adrenaline rush in facing Jimenez, who isn't a household name yet.

''I'm probably just as worried when you face somebody that isn't well known,'' Schilling said Wednesday. ''Because those end up being guys that everybody does know after a game like tomorrow. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about his stuff, and he's done well in the postseason, which means he's answered the first question, which was, 'Can he handle the pressure?'''

Jimenez has a 1.59 ERA in two postseason starts, allowing two runs on eight hits over 11 1-3 innings. He's walked eight batters and struck out 11.

''That stuff will be electric,'' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. ''That's the kind of stuff that every once in a while, you step back and you go, 'Wow! That's special.' He's shown some special poise for a young pitcher. And he's got good stuff. Anytime you get a swing-and-a-miss pitch against a good offensive club and you're playing in a small park, that's important.''

Jimenez was rushed to the majors just after the All-Star break when the Rockies were in the midst of losing three-fifths of their starting rotation to injuries. The Dominican righty went 4-4 with a 4.28 ERA in 15 starts while holding opponents to a .228 batting average.

The bigger the game, the better he was.

With the Rockies needing a win on the last day of the season to force an NL wild-card tiebreaker with San Diego, Jimenez held Arizona to one hit over 6 1-3 innings and struck out a career-high 10 in a game the Rockies won 4-3.

In his first playoff start, against Philadelphia, Jimenez allowed one run on three hits over 6 1-3 innings of Colorado's 2-1 series-clinching win. Against Arizona in the NLCS, he gave up one run on five hits over five innings in Game 2, which the Rockies won in 11 innings.

Jimenez said he isn't intimidated by either Boston's power-packed lineup or its history-steeped ballpark.

''I don't feel any pressure,'' he said. ''I'm just really excited about it.''

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Long layoff hurts Rockies pitchers and hitters
ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON -- Will anyone remember that the Colorado Rockies got here by winning 21 of 22?

That fabulous streak skidded to a halt Wednesday night in Colorado's 13-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox, who piled on more runs than any team in a World Series opener.

The eight-day layoff the Rockies earned by sweeping the Diamondbacks in the NL championship series proved costly at Fenway Park. They looked ragged not rested.

They went from wild-card wannabes to formidable NL champions, losing just once in 38 days before running into Boston's buzz saw.

''We were a little rusty, I think,'' first baseman Todd Helton said. ''We didn't play that well. But they played really good. You've got to tip the cap. They put a good old-fashioned beating on us tonight.''

So, now what?

''We just go out and regroup tomorrow,'' Helton said. ''It's what we've done all year.''

Jeff Francis watched his second pitch sail over the Green Monster. While Francis was getting shelled, the Rockies' lineup looked hopeless against Josh Beckett.

''You can ask me all series long about the eight-day layoff and I'm not going to be able to give you an answer on that,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ''We're a no-excuse ball club, always have been and we're going to be. We got outplayed tonight.''

The last time Francis and his teammates had been beaten was Sept. 28, a span of 26 days. They looked like they hadn't played in that long.

''You can come up with any number of reasons why that happened. But we're not here to make excuses. The bottom line is we just didn't get it done,'' Francis said. ''I felt good, I felt smooth, I felt strong. Just leaving balls up. That's not a lineup that you want to make a lot of mistakes to.''

Francis was even rustier than the Rockies' rickety lineup, allowing 10 hits, the most he's yielded since July 23 against San Diego.

The first batter he faced, Dustin Pedroia, sent the lefty's second pitch over the wall in left and the rout was on.

By the time the first inning ended Francis had surrendered three runs and five hits, three of which went for extra bases. He gave up another run in the second and two more in the fourth.

In four painful innings, Francis allowed six earned runs in his worst start in 2 1/2 months.

The team that couldn't lose suddenly couldn't do anything right.

Rookie Franklin Morales, a lefty who was relegated to the bullpen when the Rockies decided to activate Aaron Cook for a Game 4 start this weekend, gave up seven runs and six hits in two-thirds of an inning. He also committed the first balk in a World Series game in 11 years.

Ryan Speier relieved Morales with the bases loaded and two outs and proceeded to walk in all three runners to make it 13-1 before Matt Herges came in and rescued the humiliated Rockies by inducing Kevin Youkilis to fly out to right field.

''It kind of felt like it was a spring training game there at the end after they started pulling people,'' Helton said.

In their 7-0 sweep through Philadelphia and Arizona in the playoffs, the Rockies' starting pitchers posted a 2.31 ERA and their bullpen a 1.38 ERA.

It's apparent the Rockies were too good for their own good.

After taking four straight from Arizona, they had to wait around eight days before facing the Red Sox, who needed seven games to eliminate Cleveland in the ALCS and got just two days off.

''I'm pretty confident that we will see what we're made of tomorrow,'' Herges said. ''We were facing Beckett and we scored one run. We can do what we did this year - come right back. You'll see tomorrow. I'm pretty confident we'll be back and you'll see the team that won 21 of 22 games.''

Francis said he wasn't concerned this was the beginning of the end for Colorado's incredible run.

''I'm not worried about any imprint,'' he said. ''I know this loss isn't going to bother us as much as a lot of people think it will.''

The last time the Rockies lost they reeled off 10 straight wins.

''So, there you go,'' Francis said.

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