Dane Cook may need to make a new commercial: Beckettober.
Josh Beckett (4-0 on the postseason) proved again why he is the number one starter for the Boston Red Sox pitching for 7 innings, six hits, one earned run, one walk, and nine strikeouts as Boston won 13-1. Beckett was so dominating last night that his first 14 pitches were fastballs as he struck out the side in the first inning and earned his first five outs of the ball game via the K.
Dustin Pedroia fueled the offense from the very beginning hitting a homerun on the second pitch thrown by Jeff Francis (0-1) off the top of the Green Monster bouncing over the wall and back onto the field for an early 1-0 lead. Boston’s offense who combined for 13 runs on 17 hits never looked back after Pedroia’s solo homer as David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez combinded for 6-9 at the plate with five RBIs, five runs, and one walk. Julio Lugo also contributed having a big night of his own out of the eighth slot in the lineup going 3-4 with an RBI and a walk.
Francis suffered the loss pitching for 4 innings, on 10 hits, six earned runs, three walks, three strikeouts and one homerun.
I have said all along that no matter what team the Colorado Rockies were going to face in the World Series that the team the Rox were to face were going to walk over them, but if we know anything about the Rockies is that if they get hot there may be no stopping them for a while. Boston needs to demoralize them tonight and here is how.
Recipe for Success:
Curt Schilling needs to pound the strikezone against the Rockies using his fastball on the corners and mixing up the batters eye levels with breaking stuff. Beckett was dominant with his fastball last night and maybe the Rockies will still be cleaning the cobwebs off of themselves tonight. Not that Schilling is even close in MPH to Beckett, but maybe Schilling will step up his velocity tonight on the BIG STAGE. Schilling needs to control the 3-7 batters in the lineup (Holliday, Helton, Atkins, Hawpe, and Tulowitzki) and if he does he should win tonight. Daunting task to say the least, though.
Keep the offense rolling:
A 23-year-old pitcher in his first ever World Series appearance against the Best Offensive Lineup the American League has to offer, sounds disastrous.
Ubaldo Jimenez has walked eight batters in two post season games so far; the key for the Boston lineup here is to make Jimenez throw a lot of pitches and work him into hitters’ counts. Dustin Pedroia will be looked upon again to fuel the Boston lineup from the leadoff spot and needs to start from the very first at-bat working Jimenez into a deep count rattling this youngster on one of the biggest baseball stages he will ever pitch in. Let that follow through with Kevin Youkilis working the count behind Pedroia and then Jimenez can try his dice at the Best 3-4 combo in baseball.
Rattle Jimenez early and it should be the same result as last night.
I would personally like to see Mike Timlin pitch again tonight depending on how long Schilling pitches for as Timlin threw one inning of shutout relief with two strikeouts to add to the performance. Manny Delcarmen could be useful tonight, but if we can just roll out Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon out of the pen it should be lights out from there.
From a Rockies standpoint it may be safe to say that their morale might not be that great as of the moment coming off a streak of 21-22 games and then losing 13-1 in their first World Series showing ever. Any chance Boston has to demoralize this team tonight the Red Sox need to take full advantage of it. You are not supposed to kick someone when they are down, but from my standpoint I do not want to see Colorado get a chance to stand up in this series if you will.
We all know what the Rockies did to get here.