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World Series preview and 2007 season review

posted Oct 24, 2007

Yeah I reckon Lester will get the ball for Game 4, although if Boston are down in the series Francona may start Beckett on short rest.

Might be a canny move removing Wakefield from the rotation, there's every chance his knuckleballs would have been creamed at Coors Field.

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posted Oct 25, 2007

Well, I think everyone thought Beckett would get the win, but 13-1 is pretty convincing. 43 runs in the last 4 games would suggest that the batting is coming together at just the right time. Nearly fell off my chair when Pedroia skelped the second pitch.

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posted Oct 25, 2007

Thanks to everyone who's posted here so far.

When the commentators talked about how good the Colorado bullpen had been in recent games, I don't think they quite expected a 13-1 game!

Beckett was unhittable for much of the game, and really set the tone for the rest of the game when he struck out the Rockies' first four batters.

But Colorado's Franklin Morales rather lost the plot when he was brought in to replace starter Jeff Francis and pitch the fifth innings, giving up seven runs.

Ryan Speier then walked in three consecutive runs with the bases loaded!

Given that the stats appear to be vastly in favour of teams who win the first match of a WS, as well as those who have home field advantage, have Boston taken a decisive step towards the title?

Or will Colorado be able to write that game off, knowing that if they can see off Curt Schilling tonight, they'll then have three games at Coors Field to play?

And thinking ahead to Games 3 & 4 (and 5 if needed), who will Terry Francona decide to bench with no DH in the line-up?

Is moving David Ortiz to first base a given? And if so, does Kevin Youkilis (who's been red-hot in the post-season) miss out, or should he be moved to another position?

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posted Oct 25, 2007

is it just me that thought that JG and JC looked rather silly in their tuxs last night.

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posted Oct 25, 2007

I don't think it's time for Boston to book the open-top bus yet. I'd argue that it would have been a disaster for Boston's chances to lose Game 1, at home, with Beckett pitching, whereas Colorado fans probably pencilled in an L before the game had started. Of course the manner of the victory will boost Boston's confidence whilst denting Colorado's, but if they can beat Schilling tonight - then its everything to play for.

As for Ortiz, I assumed in a post above Youkalis would be a straight swap for him in Coors, but I heard last night that Youkalis can play a bit of Right Field. If he's even semi-decent out there, then I'd be very tempted to put him out there, play Ortiz at first, and sit Drew.

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posted Oct 25, 2007

nah, they do it every year, it's tradition. I had a kilt on when I had a Red Sox World Series first game party in 2004. On reflection, maybe that was taking it a bit far.

If Schill can roll back the years tonight, I think it will be decisive. I reckon Boston will win at least 1 in Denver and win it in Boston although as I am flying out to Denver on the before game 7, it would be fun to watch in a Rox bar with my Beckett top on.

On another matter, good luck to the Dandy Dons in the UEFA cup tonight. We'll need it.

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comment by Watts (U6105899)

posted Oct 25, 2007

The way the Sox are hitting the ball i wouldn't think it would matter who they play at first base but if push came to shove i doubt they would choose the Youk over Papi. Can you really split up the best 3-4 in the leagues in the World Series?
Replacing Drew with Youk is an option but JD seems to have brought his A game the past few nights. I'm sure Terry Francoma will figure it all out and manage to keep them all happy. The team spirit of the Sox is second to none. That's what makes them so great to watch.

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posted Oct 25, 2007

Davros182,

Agree with everything you said about Boston not booking the open-top bus yet. The commentators seemed to think that Game 2 could depend on "which" Curt Schilling turns up, but I always remember him being reliable in post-season.

When I first started following baseball (many years ago), I always used to think that the World Series might favour National League teams - as last night, for example, the Rockies could play an extra batter (their DH was 9th in the line-up) and their pitchers didn't have to bat. Conversely, in Denver, Ortiz will have to field, while the AL pitchers (I believe Dice-K is slated for Game 3) would have to make a rare attempt to swing a bat!

However, the American League's seeming dominance over the last few years would seem to indicate that it's not as much of a problem as I thought it might be all those years ago!

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posted Oct 25, 2007

The Red Sox rocked last night, but it was only the 1st game of 7....

Whilst everyone in the office is obviously happy, we all know that today is a different game.

The key to this is how well Schilling & Dice K pitch today and saturday - if they win, Lester pitches Sunday, if they lose, don't be surprised to see BecKKKKett back on the mound.

Let's Go Red Sox

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posted Oct 25, 2007

Beckett was always going to thump a rusty team aftewr 9 days off. Tonight will be a better indicator of how things will go.

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posted Oct 25, 2007

The American league has dominated the All star game, not the World Series. If you look at the last 7 years, it's not dominated by AL teams. Al teams have won 4 series to the National League's 3. This is despite having the supposed home advantage.

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posted Oct 25, 2007

I'd be they bench Lowell, move Youk to third and Papi on 1st. Lowell has played well but there's no way Francona is sitting Youkilis down right now.

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posted Oct 25, 2007

I think belleseb has it right on. Schilling has been inconsistent and so has DiceK, plus DiceK will be pitching in Colorado which he might find disconcerting.

2-1 Rockies after three games then Francona has to figure out whether to pitch Beckett on three days' rest or go with Lester (which he's pledged to do).

Francona would be daft to move Youkilis; he may well have right-field experience but not recently although he subbed for Mannybeingmanny in left-field last year.

As for the Rockies, their big hiters started slowly in the earlier play-off series; I fancy them to give the Green Monster a workout tonight.

Go Rockies . . . .

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posted Oct 25, 2007

Fair point, Mozza, but the American League has also heavily dominated Interleague play since it was brought in.

In 2006, only 6 of the 16 NL teams finished with winning records (above .500), while 8 of the 14 AL teams were above .500 - that indicates that the AL were better in interleague.

In 2006, the only NL teams with records better than .500 in interleague were Colorado (11-4) and San Francisco (8-7)

By contrast, the only AL teams with sub-.500 records in interleague were Cleveland (8-10), LA/Anaheim Angels (7-11) and Texas (7-11).

It was a little closer this year - in the AL, Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Chicago WS had sub-.500 interleague records, while Philadelphia, NY Mets, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee, Arizona and Colorado were the NL teams with better than .500 interleague records.

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posted Oct 25, 2007

Did I say Sox in 5? I meant 4. 13-1... that's crazy good!

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posted Oct 26, 2007

Well, while I think most people expected Game 2 to be closer than Game 1, it turned out to be a classic pitching duel.

Colorado will be disappointed that they couldn't build on that early lead, especially as they limited the Red Sox's much-vaunted batting line-up to just two runs.

I do fear for the Rockies now - I think if they had taken Game 2 there would still be all to play for. But only 11 of the last 50 teams to go 2-0 down in a World Series have come back to win - most recently the LA Dodgers in 1981.

Even if the Rockies were to win Games 3 & 4 at altitude in Denver, they would then face a fully-rested Josh Beckett in Game 5, before returning to Boston for Games 6 & 7.

On a personal note, as a Houston fan, I was pleased to see ex-Astros star Willy Taveras lead off the match by scoring the Rockies' only run, although he was hitless in all his subsequent plate appearances.

Willy T got to first base for that run when he was hit by a pitch from Curt Schilling - and didn't look as if he tried extraordinarily hard to get out of the way. It's good to see that playing all those years with Craig Biggio has taught him something. ;-)

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posted Oct 26, 2007

I think the rockies can and will come back, they're just too good of a hitting team not to perform at coors field, and Dice-k hasn't been pitching as well as he could of recently. When he pitches against Kazuo, will it be the first time a Japanese Pitcher has faced a Japanese Hitter in the World Series, I think this may be the case.
Youkilis in RF for me, instead of Drew, Papi at First although if the Sox get to a lead i think they'll make a defensive double switch, Youk to first, papi out and Drew to RF. Also can't wait to see Red Sox pitchers go up and hit!

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posted Oct 26, 2007

Well there's more than 1 way to skin a cat. OK, everybody loves a run fest and homers but there's something enjoyable about watching the odd game where ball dominates bat. Schill pitched well (earning his money as a previous poster predicted) and the admittedly slim bullpen seems to have enough right now to take care of the Rockies much vaunted line up.

I've seen to much of the history of the Red Sox to start breaking open the bubbly just yet, although if Dice K can pitch well on Sat night and we can sneak a win I don't think the Rockies will come back from that.

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posted Oct 26, 2007

My wife is the die-hard Sox fan, and she won't let anyone go near the fizz yet, but that win last night was huge.

Can't not see the Rox doing some damage the next three matches, but Mile High is one of those places where the batters run up big numbers so here's hoping the Sox can find it in at least one of the games in Denver.

And yep, my wife says it's pretty much certain Youk moves to RF, and Papi to 1st when they play NL rules.

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