A new record for largest margin of victory in a World Series game: 12
A new record for most doubles by a team in a World Series game: 8
Well, the rust showed for Colorado, and the hot streak which had the Red Sox winning by a combined score of 30-5 over the previous 3 games got extended to 43-6 over the last 4 games.
Despite the apparent dominance, this trend is not likely to continue.
First, Colorado throws an outstanding young rookie starter out there in Game 2. I don’t think he’ll be as affected by the layoff, since just being in the dugout for a live game will get him into game mode. The only way the Sox get to this kid is if he gets nervous and tries to be too perfect with his pitches and misses his location. Jiminez has a fastball in the high 90’s and an outstanding slider. The Red Sox have disciplined hitters who’ll not swing at stuff that’s too far from the strike zone. Jiminez will probably not be at the top of his game, but his stuff is good enough that he’ll be able to battle through it without too much damage.
Schilling has tons of playoff experience. He’s the grizzled veteran pitching against the young rookie. It’s an interesting story, isn’t it? Old vs. Young. Wily Veteran vs. Energetic/Athletic Youth.
In this game, the home field advantage and overall momentum of the Red Sox offense will make the difference. It will be a pitcher’s duel, and much lower scoring for the Red Sox, but they’ll be able to string together enough hits, walks, stolen bases and sacrifices to eke out a couple more runs than the Rockies.
This game will probably be in the 4-2 range.
I think the Rockies will get a boost in game 3, as Fogg, who beat the Red Sox earlier this year, will get a home-crowd boost, and the Red Sox will have to either play Youkilis in rightfield, or Lowell at shortstop if they want to have Ortiz, Youkilis and Lowell in the game at the same time. In other words, either an important bat sits, or someone plays an unfamiliar position.
With Lugo heating up, and having speed, and shortstop being such an important position, you can bet Lowell will either at 3rd base, or sitting. In the last few postseason games, Lowell has struggled at the plate a bit compared to his teammates, so perhaps he’ll be the one to sit in game 3. In game 5, the Sox would face a lefty, so perhaps Ortiz will be allowed to rest his knee that game. Will Youk be asked to sit in game 4? More likely, they’ll throw Youk into rightfield and pray for the best in game 4, and sit JD Drew.
In any case, most likely, the Rockies will also win game 4 (with Jonathan Lester starting for the Sox, barring a rainout) and the Red Sox will win game 5 behind Beckett, and return to Fenway needing just one more win to clinch. This time, Schilling would rise to the occasion and close it out in game 6. Beckett will set a record with 5 wins in a postseason, and win his 2nd World Series MVP.
Well, that’s my forecast. It took watching a game to have it all come together in my head.
Of course, if there’s a rainout, Lester might not pitch game 4, and you might have Beckett pitch then. If something like that happens, everything gets re-cast.
Enjoy game 2!