For days now, the Colorado Rockies watched and waited. As they played inter-squad games and tried to keep sharp they debated which match up would be better for their style of baseball.
Each had their pros and cons, but the time for debate is over. They now know that their opponent will be the Boston Red Sox and the will open the Fall Classic as the visitors in Fenway Park on Wednesday night. That suits the Rockies to a tee. Not only is Fenway one of the most hitter friendly parks in MLB, but the Rockies have already played the Red Sox there this season, winning 2 out of 3 games.
In the end the Red Sox probably were the best opponent that the Rockies could hope for. That’s certainly not because the Red Sox are less intimidating than the Indians offensively, or because the pitching staff is notably weaker but because the Red Sox struggled a bit down the stretch, and Fenway will play to the Rockies strengths offensively.
That doesn’t mean that this looks like a fair match up, or that the Rockies have the edge. On paper the Red Sox look better in terms of starting pitching and they should bring plenty of offense to the table too. But that doesn’t leave the Rockies feeling intimidated.
If they have learned nothing else this season, the Rockies learned that they can run with the biggest and best that baseball has to offer and they can win. They have learned to win with pitching, with hitting, with base running, and with defense.
And they have nothing to lose. Even if they were to be swept in four games the Rockies would still have had the greatest season in the short history of their franchise as well as a dramatic story of how they reached the Series. However that isn’t what this team is thinking, they are thinking about winning on the biggest stage that the sport has to offer and wondering whether their fairy tale has another chapter yet to be written.
They rolled over the team with the best offense in the National League (the Phillies), and they rolled over the team with the best pitching (the Padres), and they cut down the NL’s top aces (Jake Peavy and Brandon Webb). They managed to sweep their way through the National League playoffs and have been seemingly unstoppable winning 21 of their last 22 games.
The Rockies will not be intimidated by the difference in payroll or the storied history of the Red Sox. They won’t be intimidated by ace Josh Beckett, by closer Jonathan Papelbon, by sluggers Manny Ramirez or David Ortiz or RBI leader Mike Lowell - at least not unless the Red Sox make a dramatic statement early on in the Series. If they do, it may change everything, and if not, the fans at Coors seem to have a fondness for brooms.
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