2007 World Series: Sox Rock Rockies in Game 1

(Ortiz and Pedroia on ESPN.com/AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Ok, so the headline’s a little uninspiring. But it’s on point, no? Yes! The Boston Red Sox owned game one of the 2007 World Series from the beginning, beating up on the Colorado Rockies 13-1. Boston Ace Josh Beckett made history, becoming the first home team pitcher to open the Series by striking out the side (I read that Sandy Koufax struck out the first five batters he faced in the 1963 Series when the Dodgers played game 1 at Yankees Stadium). In the bottom of the opening stanza, Red Sox 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia became only the second player in history to hit a lead-off homer in a Series opener. Pedroia’s blast barely cleared the Green Monster (the ball actually bounced back on the field), but he sparked a three-run opening rally and the Sox never looked back.

(Fenway Faithful Counting K’s on ESPN.com/AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

9 innings, 17 hits, and 13 runs later the Red Sox seemed to have set the tone for the fall classic. And I guess we’ve answered the question: How much rest is too much in the playoffs? Was that Colorado’s problem? Too much time-off? Didn’t they seem a little cold? Was the winning-streak that got them here, ultimately a curse?

Maybe it’s not that the Rockies were out of sync. Okay, they were out of sync. But maybe that’s not the only reason they gave up game one. Maybe the Red Sox just have a superior line-up. In an article this morning, ESPN.com writer Jason Stark calls the Sox hitters “the hottest lineup ever to march to home plate” in 103 years of World Series play; comparing the boys to the best Yankees teams of 20’s and 30’s and Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine. In the last four games, the Sox have outscored their opponents 43-6. That’s brisk, baby!

(Rockies’ Pitcher Jeff Francis on ESPN.com/Nick Laham/Getty Images)

But I don’t want to knock the Rockies too much. They won 21 of 22 games coming into the World Series, including an incredible extra-innings win over the Padres to clinch the National League Wild Card. From there, the Rockies were perfect in the playoffs. They swept the Philadelphia Phillies. They swept the Arizona Diamondbacks. Then they sat idle for about a week waiting for the series to start. Let’s face it, the Rockies are the proverbial Cinderella team and it ain’t close to midnight.

World Series games 3, 4, and 5 (if necessary) are in Denver and playing at home can make the difference. But how much of a difference? The Rockies may be known for two-out rallies lately, but take the bottom of the 4th inning last night and the Fenway Faithful weren’t letting that happen. Beckett was pitching with two outs, a man on second, and Rockies right-fielder Brad Hawpe 0-2 at the plate. Boston fans were on their feet and cheering so loudly I imagine Hawpe couldn’t hear himself think. He struck out swinging. Inning over. The rumble of the ballpark foreshadowed the K.

Time and time again opposing hitters at Fenway seem overwhelmed and doomed when the stadium starts rockin’! That’s home field advantage in its purest form. Rockies fans get that chance Saturday. Not to mention the bonus for National League teams at home during the World Series. With no designated-hitter, Boston loses a bat in the line-up and will have to adjust. What will Manager Terry Francona do with Mr. Clutch David Ortiz? We’ll see this weekend. But first, let’s get game through game-two.

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