Well game one turned out to be a laugher. Eight days off sure hurt the Rockies, especially the pitching. Everyone’s timing was off and the Red Sox took full advantage. After a rough first inning the Rockies tried to make it a game and it did look like they’d eventually break through the defenses of Josh Beckett and put some runs on the board, but it was all an illusion.
And the Red Sox romped. While the Rockies hitters tried to regain their swing and the pitchers tried to find their rhythm, the Red Sox showed that momentum counts for a lot. It was so bad that many of us, myself included, stopped even paying attention to just how many runs the Sox put on the board and instead concentrated on watching managers Clint Hurdle and Terry Francona from the bench.
For Boston’s Francona it was about saving his regulars and giving them some rest once the game was well out of hand. It was also time to see if he could re-ignite some of the team’s colder players and get some of the Boston irregulars a moment or two on the sport’s biggest stage.
For the Rockies it was about keeping the regulars in the game, trying to help them get back their timing and getting them used to hitting against Boston’s pitching staff. And while that should help a lot for the hitters, it’s the pitchers who the Rockies need to be very concerned about.
The pitching took a beating. Particularly reliever Franklin Morales and Ryan Speier who struggled badly enough to shake their confidence and possibly the manager’s faith in them. Morales recorded just two outs and allowed seven earned runs - three of them forced in by walks after he left the game with the bases loaded. All three of those runs can be attributed to a very jittery Ryan Speier who couldn’t seem to find the strike zone.
By the time the dust had settled and the Rockies relievers had found a groove, the Rockies were already trailing by double digits. Over the last 3.1 innings the Rockies bullpen looked a lot like their old selves - yielding just a hit and a walk as Matt Herges, Jeremy Affeldt, and LaTroy Hawkins strutted a bit of their stuff against the Boston irregulars.
In the wake of a 13-1 loss that may not seem like much, but the Rockies may need something to build upon. Based upon just how badly the Colorado nine looked and how off their game was, a quick rebuild of their confidence might definitely be in order.
Of course what they’d really prefer is a dominating start today by Ubaldo Jimenez. After all, those last three innings reminded the Rockies that they can pitch in Fenway and that they can silence the Boston bats. And that’s just what the Rockies need.
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