Evan Brunell and Zach Hayes from Fire Brand of the American League sat down with Dan Lucero and Tom Stephenson of Up in the Rockies for a quick preview of the World Series and keys to the game for Game 1 tonight. One thing is clear in this chat: Everyone is supremely confident in their own team…
Q: What about your team should the opposing team be most worried about?
Dan Lucero: How about the fact that the Rox are the hottest team in baseball. winners of 21 of their last 22 in the highest pressure situation possible?
How about the best defense in baseball and a 2.08 postseason ERA? How about three 100-RBI men?
There’s plenty for Sox Nation to be scared of regarding the Rockies.
Zach Hayes: Our lineup 1-9 clicking at one time- adding Ellsbury and seeing Pedroia and Youk settle into a groove this postseason, along with the overall patience and power of the middle of the lineup, makes for a deep and scary 1 thru 9. You saw it in Game 6 and 7, add in the inexperience of the Rockies starters over a long October haul.
Tom Stephenson: I’d actually have to say it’s the pitching… everybody is aware of how scary the offense is, but the pitching staff has basically been rolling in October.
The Rockies had the best ERA in the National League after the All-Star Break.
Evan Brunell: What should the Rockies be scared of most? How about the fact that you can’t count out the Red Sox until the literal final out is made? Has there ever been a team in which you cannot count them out until they’re dead? Even their last dying breath isn’t good enough. How about Josh Beckett being the surest pitcher to hit October since Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson in 2001? How about the fact that overall, the AL demolishes NL pitching because all the NL does is throw fastballs?
Q: Any refutations to what the opposing people said?
Dan Lucero: Um… hey, Evan, were you talking about the Red Sox? Because I’m pretty sure if that statement applies to anybody in these playoffs, it applies to the Rockies.
This team not only doesn’t know how to quit… right now it doesn’t know how to lose.
Zach Hayes: I’ll say the Rockies pitching staff stops rolling around 830 PM tomorrow night……the Sox offense is much more patient and matches up well with Colorado’s starters more than Philly or Arizona.
Francis relies on opposing hitters going out of the zone and Boston doesn’t do that. Jimenez has control problems…really his only negative the 2nd half of the year and Fogg has to get ahead to be successful.
Tom Stephenson: I’ll disagree with the NL pitchers throwing only fastballs: Francis is known for a good curve, Cook is a sinkerballer. Jimenez has really underrated breaking stuff… all anyone notices is the 98-mph fastball though.
Evan Brunell: Here are the walk totals for all seven games of Rockie pitchers: 2 (in 6 IP), 2 (in 3 IP), 4 (6.1 IP), 1 (6.2 IP), 4 (5.0 IP), 1 (6.0 IP), 1 (4.0 IP)
Essentially, only Jeff Francis has been able to pound the zone for strikes.
This is going to be the big issue with Rockie pitchers. They HAVE to throw strikes.The pitching staff has been rolling…but to continue rolling, they need to hit the zone.
Q: What about the opposing team do you fear the most?
Dan Lucero: I think this is where we’re supposed to say “Josh Beckett”… but the Rox did beat his ass on June 14 at the Fens.
Just like the Rox beat the other two aces that they were supposed to be dominated by this postseason. Cole Hamels lost. Brandon Webb lost. Beckett’s next.
So I guess my answer is “nothing.”
Zach Hayes: The Rockies dynamic lineup and their power hitters (Tulo, Holliday, Atkins, Hawpe, Helton) matching up against the Sox starters after Josh Beckett.
Schill and his average stuff, along with Dice-K’s overall fatigue and lapses of control on the mound could be a disaster, especially in Coors. Jon Lester in Coors for Game 4? Color me concerned.
Tom Stephenson: The experience factor. Most of the Sox have been here before, while only one Rockie (Taveras) has played in a WS before.They might just be starstruck.
Evan Brunell: Easy… 21 of 22. The Red Sox are hot… have been all year, turned things around in the ALCS … but they’re facing a hotter team. The Rockies don’t know how to lose right now. The Red Sox are facing their NL counterparts … which has me worried because it means nothing is set in stone. The Red Sox can easily sweep… the Rockies can easily sweep… or both can battle to the bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, 2 outs, 3-2 count in Game 7. Manny Corpas. David Ortiz. THE PITCH …
Q: Any refutations to what the opposing people said?
Dan Lucero: Gotta refute Tom here, actually. I think you’re overrating the experience factor, partner. Boston’s past World Series stats don’t mean a thing in 2007.
And if these Rox were going to be starstruck… don’t you think that would have happened earlier in the postseason?
Tom Stephenson: Hey, well, I had to come up with something to be scared about the Sox.
Zach Hayes: Cocky bunch of Rox fans, lol. Really, you guys aren’t worried about anything? 21 of 22 will do that to you.
Tom Stephenson: Not really — since we’re refuting things to be worried about, I will say, though, that the Rockies have had some ice cold stretches this season.
They went 20-7 over a stretch in May and June — but followed that up by going 1-9.
Part two of this discussion is at Up in the Rockies. In this second part is the major weakness of the Rockies, Evan and Zach refuting the lack of concern over Josh Beckett, the keys to Game 1 and predictions… click here to visit Up in the Rockies.