FanDuel - WFBC

October 21, 2007

Sox Will Face Rocks in World Series: The Boston Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 11-2, completing a comeback from 3-1 to win the American League Championship Series. They'll face the Colorado Rockies Wednesday in the World Series for Game 1 in Fenway Park.

posted by rcade to baseball at 11:15 PM - 69 comments

I look forward to more Papelbon dancing.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:19 PM on October 21

I know he's been criticized mightily by the Sox faithful, but how about that game-ending catch by Coco Crisp- I must have rewound and watched that 5 times! Usually I scoff at defensive replacements, especially in blowouts, but damn if moving Ellsbury to LF (where he made that diving catch) and putting in Crisp (with that incredible over the back grab) didn't get two critical outs that otherwise would have been hits. Who knows what happens if the Indians dribble a couple of runs across, chase Papelbon, and the pen is called with no one actually warmed up in that situation.

posted by hincandenza at 11:30 PM on October 21

It seemed kinda dumb to me for Crisp to give up his body like that. The series was over.

posted by rcade at 11:40 PM on October 21

Tough game for Kenny Lofton. He was safe at second on the throw from Martinez, then the idiot third base coach held him in the 7th. They could've tied and that would've changed the tone of the game. I'd have picked Youkilis as series MVP. What'd he bat, .600?

posted by kirkaracha at 11:56 PM on October 21

Kenny Lofton was safe, but on the replay you can totally see what the ump was seeing: at normal speed, it looks like the sweeping tag hits Lofton's hand before it hits the bag. From the other camera angle, it's clear that in slow-mo the glove misses Lofton's left hand, and hits him after he's safe. But that's the nature of the game- at least (sadly for the Indians) it became a blow-out game and rendered that play moot. I don't buy into the "if Lofton was safe, he would have scored it'd have been 3-3, and the 'game would have changed'". We can't replay time and see how Dice-K would have pitched diferrently, etc, etc. But more than other sports, baseball is discrete: even if Lofton scores and ties it up, the same 3 Red Sox batters lead off the next inning, etc, etc. I don't believe that Lofton scoring would have had some incredible ripple effect that magically takes 8 runs off the board from those last 3 innings. Anyway, as for the MVP: If Beckett weren't nails this series, then yeah Youklis was the likely MVP: after Game 1, both Ramirez and Ortiz kind of disappeared. But unlike the regular season, where MVP voters have a distaste for pitchers, in the post-season the pitchers rule the roost: Beckett contributed not just two wins, but two fantastic starts, all but handing a win to his team. Effectively, any offense could have won those two starts of Beckett's, so he's largely the reason they won 2 of the 4 games, far more so than any collective at-bats by the 1 of 9 hitters. When a SP does that- all but single-handedly wins their games by virtue of 7+ IP and low ER- it's hard to say anyone else is the MVP.

posted by hincandenza at 02:34 AM on October 22

For many years, all we Boston sports fans had to look forward to was the Celtics season. Indeed, "there's always the Celtics" was the only thing that got most of us through the athletic year. In the last bunch of years, we've been fortunate to see our football team win three Superbowls (and get to an amazing start this year) and a World Series. History demonstrates that the dominance of nearly every team fluctuates from decade to decade. These times won't last for us Boston fans. While they do, though, I am very grateful to the current Red Sox and the Patriots for all their success. It more than balances out the lean years. I hope that I have the presence of mind to remind myself how lucky I was to be a long term fan of those teams in the future when the inevitable lean years return. Even if they don't win the World Series - though I think they very well might win the World Series - I am genuinely thrilled today. That is a rare thing for any sports fan - as a Boston fan in the 70's, 80's and 90's, I know this only too well. We are extremely lucky. That all said, the Indians had a remarkable season and came very close this year. They have a lot of returning talent in their line-up and I bet they are going to be serious contenders in the AL for at least another half a decade. Wishing Cleveland and its fans the best of luck in 2009. All right, bring on the Rockies! An outstanding team with a remarkable end of the season streak. Best of luck, Colorado! Your players are excellent and seem to be admirable human beings, too. Were you facing any team but the Red Sox, I would be rooting for you!

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:36 AM on October 22

"History demonstrates that the dominance of nearly every team fluctuates from decade to decade. These times won't last for us Boston fans. " Truer words were never spoken. As a Philly phan born-and-bred this World Series is heart-breaking, but I'm used to it...

posted by GoBirds at 04:50 AM on October 22

You're being a little too magnanimous, Joey. It's a trap, Rockies!

posted by rcade at 07:20 AM on October 22

Strange series -- two three game win streaks within a seven-game series, an average margin of victory of around 7 runs, etc. It will be interesting to see how the long lay-off has affected the Rockies. MLB's scheduling this post season has been disgraceful; it is an insult to fans and, in my mind, more of an affront to the history and traditions of the game than any PED controversy. I believe I saw the projected Game 1 match-up earlier this year at Fenway. Rockies won that one behind a Garrett Atkins grand slam (Beckett was off all night), with Francis turning in a solid but not spectacular outing (5IP, 7H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 6K). Not that a single game should be any indicator of future performance of course, but I'm sure it will get some play and breakdown by the talking heads prior to Game 1.

posted by holden at 08:02 AM on October 22

Yeah, the Rockies handed the Sox their lunch this year, so it should be interesting. Add warm weather in Boston, snow in Denver and the requisite number of veteran players without rings and Fox should be ok story-wise.

posted by yerfatma at 08:33 AM on October 22

I have to say, Lofton looked SLOW out there yesterday. I don't think it's a shoo in he scores if the third base coach sends him, unless Manny doesn't even bother making a throw. There were alot of goats for Cleveland yesterday, Garko killed them in the field (not the first game he's struggled) and Blake grounding into the double play when it was still close. This should be a fun series, the best pitching staff in baseball versus a team playing about a .900 clip for the last month. Bring it!

posted by vito90 at 08:42 AM on October 22

It's actually probably going to be warmer in Denver than in Boston (which isn't surprising, it typically is in the middle of winter, too). I'm still hoping for at least one snow game. Damn good timing for the Sox, finding their bats when they did. I was also glad to see a decent game out of Matsuzaka, and to see Ellsbury starting. Colorado will be tough as nails, but it should be a good contest.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:48 AM on October 22

Judging from the attire of the fans and coaches at the Broncos-Steelers game last night vs. the same at the ALCS game, I would say Boston is noticeably warmer at present than Denver. I think going forward, the game-time temps in both places will probably be in the low- to mid-50s.

posted by holden at 09:30 AM on October 22

Boston fans, how big is playing in the NL for up to three games? Big Papi will be at first and Youkilis will be on the bench. That can't help the Sox.

posted by BlueCarp at 09:47 AM on October 22

Round about the sixth inning last night, I was sitting in the stands, racked with anxiety about the groove Westbrook was settling into and the pressure Cleveland was applying on the offensive end. When the Tribe turned things over to Betancourt, they were ostensibly in good hands, but I think Yuniesky Betancourt must have stolen Rafael's uniform and gone out there in his stead, because the man got shelled. The rookies certainly came through for the Red Sox last night - be they homegrown or internationally-scouted. Hopefully, the large number of players on both sides who are experiencing their first World Series will deliver in comparable fashion and we'll have another exciting matchup. Sabathia, Carmona and Hafner really disappointed for the Indians. In retrospect, it's slightly surprising that the series was that close with those three guys basically laying eggs...

posted by Venicemenace at 09:51 AM on October 22

Boston fans, how big is playing in the NL for up to three games? Big Papi will be at first and Youkilis will be on the bench. That can't help the Sox. It didn't seem to hurt the Red Sox in St. Louis in 2004, where Ortiz made no errors, but was pulled late in each game for Mientkiewicz. Of course, it hurts to take the hot-hitting Youkilis out of the game, but Ortiz is a more dangerous hitter and the Sox will have a pretty good pinch-hitting option off the bench, either for a one-off performance or as part of a late-inning double switch.

posted by holden at 10:06 AM on October 22

Congrats to Red Sox fans. The Rockies are on a roll and ball really flies in Denver. Looks to be exciting series.

posted by brickman at 10:36 AM on October 22

Go Sox. Just when they looked dead in the water,they come back and win 3 in a row.Good timing for the bats to come alive.Although the Rockies did win the season series earlier in the year,hopefully the long layoff they had since clinching their NLCS in 4 games makes them a little rusty.Should be a good series.Can't really argue about Beckett winning the MVP,but Youkilis had a good series also.But I guess if you really look at it,the Red Sox might not have gotten to game 7 without Beckett's pitching.Maybe another 7 game series?I hope not. Just hoping to keep the highest scoring team in the N.L. from doing what they did to the D-Backs.But I think the Red Sox are a better hitting team than them with better pitching.Go Red Sox.Lets bring another World Series win back here to Boston.

posted by Ghastly1 at 11:45 AM on October 22

Just hoping to keep the highest scoring team in the N.L. from doing what they did to the D-Backs. The Rockies actually defeated the highest-scoring team, the Phillies, earlier in the NL playoffs. The Rockies were the second highest-scoring team in the NL, with their 860 runs scored comparing favorably to the 867 scored by the Red Sox, particularly when you factor in the pitcher hitting (of course, the Rockies had one extra game in which to score runs). Should be a good match-up offensively, although I would think that Boston has a clear pitching edge.

posted by holden at 11:56 AM on October 22

I guess it is about the time for all the green hat wearing Red Sox fans to come out of the woodwork.

posted by igottheblues at 12:06 PM on October 22

I guess it is about the time for all the green hat wearing Red Sox fans to come out of the woodwork. Oh, god. My commute is SO gonna suck this week.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:31 PM on October 22

I thought it was pink hats.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:34 PM on October 22

I thought it was scuba masks.

posted by yerfatma at 01:54 PM on October 22

As long as it's not touques

posted by kokaku at 01:58 PM on October 22

Boston fans, how big is playing in the NL for up to three games? Big Papi will be at first and Youkilis will be on the bench. That can't help the Sox. Shades of 1993: Cito Gaston benching John Olerud—the AL batting champion—to keep Paul Molitor in the lineup against a lefty starter. I kind of wish that there were a few more significant rule differences between the two leagues so we'd have more intrigue like this. In slightly more relevant news, the World Series Pick 'Em is up.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:14 PM on October 22

What a great time it is to be a sports fan in Boston. The Celtics show promise, Patriots look pretty good, Red Sox in the World Series, and even the Bruins still have a pulse. Having been raised with the New England Calvinist pessimism firmly branded into my genes, I will not rest easy until the final out of the 4th win for the BoSox. I feel that this one will be a nail-biter, but in the end Boston will prevail. As a fan, I'm really looking forward to seeing more of Tulowitzki, Francis, and company. 2007 has the potential to produce one of the classic World Series of all time.

posted by Howard_T at 04:40 PM on October 22

I always felt (and feel free to shout me down) that Ortiz wasn't really that bad a first baseman. Some days I get a really strong impression that Ramirez is a bigger liability in the field. But then he goes and makes a phenominal catch or one of those ricochets off the wall. Anyway I wouldn't expect it to bother the Sox all that much. It will actually give them Youk as a really strong pinch hitting option off the bench when they go to NL rules in Colorado. Lowell hits for better avg and power against both LHP and RHP so I can only assume he will start at 3B.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 05:27 PM on October 22

Patriots look pretty good That's an understatement, to say the least. Brady is on pace to break Maris-I-mean-Manning's record. Unbelievable. Manny is a good fielder at Fenway, but I wonder how he'll fare at Coors. Contrary to popular belief, Coors has a huge outfield. Overall, the only real advantage Rox have is in fielding, though Boston is still very good. Errors were critical in last year's series. It'll be interesting to see if they play a role this year.

posted by drumdance at 06:04 PM on October 22

Contrary to popular belief, Coors has a huge outfield. Source please?

posted by tommytrump at 06:18 PM on October 22

The Indians probably needed to wrap this up in 5. When it went back to Fenway, the writing was on the (big green) wall. Now the big question is whether the Rockies' momentum has been interrupted by the layoff. I suspect not, and this one may not get back to Fenway, but it's going to be intriguing, at very least.

posted by etagloh at 06:23 PM on October 22

Thank goodness the Red Sox won. If it had been Cleveland vs Colorado, I would have had a hard time picking a team for which to cheer. Cleveland has that "1948" thing going on, while Colorado has that whole "Major -League-win-the-whole-f*cking-thing" thing going on. But Boston? After 2004? Sorry guys, but you don't register "good story" list any more. Go Rockies!

posted by grum@work at 06:47 PM on October 22

Contrary to popular belief, Coors has a huge outfield. Source please? I wasn't the one who made the original statement, but here's something from the IHT: "Because Coors Field has baseball's largest outfield — it is 350 feet to the right-field foul pole, 347 in left and 415 in center — many balls drop between the infielders and the outfielders, making defensive speed more important than it might be in other ballparks." See also the write-up here:

The outfield is one of the biggest in the majors, so that routine pop-ups fall for singles and line singles roll for doubles or triples. More than just home runs, the park also yields more triples than any other ballpark. In part, this is due to the thin air, but the long distance to the right field corner (350 feet) gives runners an extra two seconds to get to third base compared to a park with a 325-foot right field wall. The quirky walls and extensive right-field foul territory means that the ball doesn't bounce straight back to the outfielder; the ball caroms off the hard walls at odd angles.

posted by holden at 07:50 PM on October 22

Yeah, they pushed the fences out for a few years when the park first opened to try to counteract the home runs. Instead it made it a great offensive park for XBH rather than HR.

posted by yerfatma at 07:51 PM on October 22

Of course, it hurts to take the hot-hitting Youkilis out of the game, but Ortiz is a more dangerous hitter and the Sox will have a pretty good pinch-hitting option off the bench, either for a one-off performance or as part of a late-inning double switch. I don't think this should be underestimated - Youklis is a big part of the offense. Of course, the Sox have to do this (put Ortiz at first), but that's a pretty big sacrifice - you're losing a great defender for a lousy one, and your number 2 hitter. This is probably going to have a large impact, considering while the Sox mash, the Rockies appear to be able to mash along with them without having to make such decisions. In fact, I think the Rockies have a better 1-9. That's a scary club. Pitching is a bit of a wild card, but they've been pitching well for two months, so there isn't a lot to suggest it won't continue. Beckett was the slam dunk MVP. He turned in 2 starts that gave the bullpen some rest, and were basically never in doubt because the cat was untouchable. An amazing performance.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:20 PM on October 22

But Boston? After 2004? Sorry guys, but you don't register "good story" list any more. Somehow, they shall try to persevere as the not-underdogs, I mean overdogs. Or something.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:12 PM on October 22

This is probably going to have a large impact, considering while the Sox mash, the Rockies appear to be able to mash along with them without having to make such decisions. In fact, I think the Rockies have a better 1-9. That's a scary club. Looking down the line-ups, here's the way I see it from an offensive perspective: In Boston -- 1B -- Youk v. Helton -- WASH 2B -- Pedroia v. Matsui -- ADV. BOS SS -- Lugo v. Tulo -- ADV. COL 3B -- Lowell v. Atkins -- ADV. BOS (it's close, though) LF -- Ramirez v. Holliday -- ADV. COL CF -- Taveras v. Crisp/Ellsbury -- WASH/ADV. BOS (if Ellsbury) RF -- Hawpe v. Drew -- ADV. COL DH -- Ortiz v. Anyone -- ADV. BOS So overall, a wash or maybe a slight overall advantage (in simplistic tallying of total positional advantages) to Boston. In Denver -- 1B -- Ortiz v. Helton -- ADV. BOS 2B -- Pedroia v. Matsui -- ADV. BOS SS -- Lugo v. Tulo -- ADV. COL 3B -- Lowell v. Atkins -- ADV. BOS LF -- Ramirez v. Holliday -- ADV. COL CF -- Taveras v. Crisp/Ellsbury -- WASH/ADV. BOS (if Ellsbury) RF -- Hawpe v. Drew -- ADV. COL P -- COL P v. BOS P -- WASH Overall, still a bit of a wash, with perhaps a slight advantage again to Boston. So one could argue that the on-the-road scenario is not a worse outcome for Boston (again, purely from an offensive perspective and using a pretty simplistic tallying method), in that they upgrade at a position in which they don't hold a clear advantage and the pitcher position washes out. Of course, this is overly simplistic, in that it doesn't account for defense, doesn't account for maximal batting line-up construction or the different skills different players bring to the plate, or the fact that the large difference between Ortiz and any potential Colorado DH (Spillborghs?) is greater than the offensive difference between Ortiz and Helton, etc. Actually, the above is exactly the kind of unscientific, short-hand analysis BS that I hate, but it's an interesting exercise nonetheless. As far as Youkilis taking over for Lowell at third, I just don't see how you take that glove (and not so shabby bat) out of the lineup.

posted by holden at 09:19 PM on October 22

For those interested, here's a nice article about the humidor.

posted by drumdance at 09:47 PM on October 22

John Olerud (the batting champ) sat down for Game 3 of the 1993 World Series (playing for Toronto in Philadelphia) because they wanted Molitor (#2 in batting average in the AL) to bat/play 1B and use Sprague at 3B for his defense. Of course, that fell apart after one game because Sprague was f*cking TERRIBLE with the bat in 1993, so Molitor moved to 3B and Olerud played 1B in Game 4. Would it kill the Red Sox to play Youkilis in RF for the away games and sit Drew? He played 18 games in LF in 2006 without making an error, so it wouldn't be completely foreign to him.

posted by grum@work at 11:11 PM on October 22

"I don't think this should be underestimated - Youklis is a big part of the offense. Of course, the Sox have to do this (put Ortiz at first), but that's a pretty big sacrifice - you're losing a great defender for a lousy one, and your number 2 hitter. This is probably going to have a large impact, considering while the Sox mash, the Rockies appear to be able to mash along with them without having to make such decisions. In fact, I think the Rockies have a better 1-9. That's a scary club. Pitching is a bit of a wild card, but they've been pitching well for two months, so there isn't a lot to suggest it won't continue. Beckett was the slam dunk MVP. He turned in 2 starts that gave the bullpen some rest, and were basically never in doubt because the cat was untouchable. An amazing performance. posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 8:20 PM CDT on October 22" I posted one insane piece of gibberish as a starter. Then I looked at a post that gave a virtual unknown an advantage over Manny Ramirez and bursted out laughing. Enough time spent responding to uninformed speculation. Boston wins in six, if not win in an outright sweep. Cinderella's pumpkin will get splattered fast and it is not going to be pretty. June is not October and Manny Ramirez/David Ortiz of October are money players that Colorado does not have answers for.

posted by Cave_Man at 11:59 PM on October 22

Cave_Man is right. Boston will probably win like the Tigers were slated to win last year. On paper your probably right , however making a prediction with such certainty is setting yourself up for disappointment. Rockies in 7 if they get some breaks.

posted by brickman at 12:13 AM on October 23

LF -- Ramirez v. Holliday -- ADV. COL Then I looked at a post that gave a virtual unknown an advantage over Manny Ramirez and bursted out laughing. If you think that Holliday is a "virtual unknown", you obviously aren't that well informed about Major League Baseball.

posted by grum@work at 12:35 AM on October 23

I'd have to agree with grum on the Matt Holliday issue. The only reason he's not one of the most talked about players in baseball is because he plays in Colorado. The guy won two legs of the Triple Crown in the NL this year and I don't believe a single person noticed. Here are some of the most gaudy parts of his statline, along with their NL ranks. Avg. - .340 - 1st HR - 36 - 4th RBI - 137 - 1st hits - 216 - 1st 2B - 50 - 1st R - 120 - 3rd OBP - .405 - 6th SLG - .607 - 2nd OPS - 1.012 - 3rd Worth paying some attention to, yes?

posted by boredom_08 at 02:25 AM on October 23

Would it kill the Red Sox to play Youkilis in RF for the away games and sit Drew? He played 18 games in LF in 2006 without making an error There's been some discussion of that locally, but the thing I come back to is just how big Colorado's outfield is. Left field in Boston might be the smallest field in the majors. Visions of doubles and triples dance in my head.

posted by yerfatma at 05:54 AM on October 23

If you think that Holliday is a "virtual unknown", you obviously aren't that well informed about Major League Baseball. Agreed - Holliday is a beast - but I still dispute the idea that he has a clear edge over Manny in the games played at Fenway. Look at Holliday's road splits. He's still a great hitter on the road, no doubt (11 HR, .860 OPS, 130 sOPS+), but not quite the monster he is at home (25 HR, 1.157 OPS, 195 sOPS+). Manny's 2007 home splits (10 HR, .891 OPS, 131 sOPS+) are rather comparable to Holliday's road numbers, and anyone who has watched Manny hit for years knows this was an off season for him. However, there is no doubt that Manny is locked in right now and certainly playing at a level above what he showed for most of the year, while Holliday (small sample size alert!) didn't show anything this summer at Fenway to indicate that he hits the park particularly well. Cave_Man's implication that Manny has an obvious advantage over this "unknown" is certainly erroneous, but I think at Fenway, it's at least a wash.

posted by Venicemenace at 07:02 AM on October 23

A couple of additional citations to back up the above assertion: Manny's career numbers at Fenway (scroll down...notably featuring a 1.014 OPS) definitely indicate that his 2007 home line was an aberration. And for anyone who skipped the BOS/LAA and BOS/CLE series, his lines were eye-popping (3/8, 3R, 2HR, 4RBI, 1.740 OPS and 9/22, 5R, 2HR, 10RBI, 1.290 OPS, respectively) - the very definition of "locked in."

posted by Venicemenace at 07:16 AM on October 23

Boston wins in six, if not win in an outright sweep. Did you happen to see any of the Rox-Sox series this summer? I had really not seen the Rockies until that point, and I came away very impressed. Those wins weren't flukes.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:27 AM on October 23

Boston wins in six, if not win in an outright sweep. Colorado is one of the hottest teams in the history of baseball. They've won 20 of 21 and just swept two series. Predicting they'll get swept seems like sudden-onset homerism to me.

posted by rcade at 07:38 AM on October 23

In Boston -- 1B -- Youk v. Helton -- WASH 2B -- Pedroia v. Matsui -- ADV. BOS SS -- Lugo v. Tulo -- ADV. COL 3B -- Lowell v. Atkins -- ADV. BOS (it's close, though) LF -- Ramirez v. Holliday -- ADV. COL CF -- Taveras v. Crisp/Ellsbury -- WASH/ADV. BOS (if Ellsbury) RF -- Hawpe v. Drew -- ADV. COL DH -- Ortiz v. Anyone -- ADV. BOS So overall, a wash or maybe a slight overall advantage (in simplistic tallying of total positional advantages) to Boston. In Denver -- 1B -- Ortiz v. Helton -- ADV. BOS 2B -- Pedroia v. Matsui -- ADV. BOS SS -- Lugo v. Tulo -- ADV. COL 3B -- Lowell v. Atkins -- ADV. BOS LF -- Ramirez v. Holliday -- ADV. COL CF -- Taveras v. Crisp/Ellsbury -- WASH/ADV. BOS (if Ellsbury) RF -- Hawpe v. Drew -- ADV. COL P -- COL P v. BOS P -- WASH Just because I think this is an interesting exercise - I'll respond. I don't necessarily agree with this pointing in Boston's favour. I agree with many of these summations, but think a case could be made for Atkins at 3rd (Lowell hasn't hit as well in the postseason as in the regular season) and Taveras isn't awful, and Ellsbury isn't tested enough to give him any distinct advantage there - but it's more in the gaps at SS and RF. Those are larger advantages for Colorado, whereas it's pretty close at the remaining positions. And defensively, it's not even close. Colorado set records this year. Howeva, besides the whole "touched by God" thing The Rockies have a huge deficit in pitching. I give the Sox the Series advantage based soley on pitching. I think they have the advantage starting and closing (though not by much at closer if stats are to be believed) and that's the difference. I think the Rockies can rake with any team in baseball, but 2 shots of Beckett and you need but a smattering of Schilling and Matzusaka to find 4 Ws. I'm taking the Sox - but I think it goes 7.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:02 AM on October 23

defensively, it's not even close. Colorado set records this year Not buying that. The Red Sox set an all-time fielding % (big deal) record last year and might have been better (Drew in RF, Coco being ungodly, Pedroia at 2B balancing out Lugo at SS) this year. Late-inning outfield of Drew, Coco and Ellsbury is going to make it hard to get extra-base hits.

posted by yerfatma at 08:50 AM on October 23

Colorado is one of the hottest teams in the history of baseball. As the old adage says, momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher. In the interest of accuracy, I do want to amend my earlier comments to allow that Matt Holliday has probably had his road numbers depressed by NL pitchers' parks - for instance, he killed the ball in Philly and Arizona - and he hit quite well in Fenway this summer. I still think it's foolish to underestimate Manny, however. They'll both be swinging the bats well, I'm sure.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:15 AM on October 23

Not buying that. The Red Sox set an all-time fielding % (big deal) True - it's not necessarily the record, but it certainly appears to be the reality. Colorado has studs all over the diamond. Holiday is probably the only guy not above average.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:39 AM on October 23

Colorado has studs all over the diamond. Holiday is probably the only guy not above average. I think Holliday played above average LF this year and has actually been discussed as a Gold Glove candidate. (Don't let the misplay that led to the go-ahead runs in the one-game playoff with San Diego fool you.) I think it's more or less accepted that the weak link in the Colorado defense is Brad Hawpe, who plays the position like the 1B he was at LSU. Actually, that's a bit harsh, as Hawpe has made great strides, but I think he would be considered below average as a RF. Of course, there's no consensus on what defensive stats should carry the most water, so the above is based really on my perceptions of the conventional wisdom of a certain group of commentators I respect and my own limited observation of the Rockies this year.

posted by holden at 09:52 AM on October 23

Question about defense. Rockies this year not only led MLB in fielding percentage and fewest errors, they also led in total chances. Am I correct in interpreting that to mean they are manufacturing outs by getting to balls others wouldn't get?

posted by drumdance at 10:43 AM on October 23

drumdance, I think you'd need a fielding breakdown to conclusively state that. The cavernous outfield helps with the "total chances" stat.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:12 AM on October 23

Lowell hasn't hit as well in the postseason as in the regular season Huh? Lowell during the regular season: Av .324 OBP .378 SLG .501 Post season: Av .333 OBP .372 SLG .528 Am I missing something?

posted by justgary at 11:23 AM on October 23

The cavernous outfield helps with the "total chances" stat. Right. You could also lead in total chances by having a shitty pitching staff. Or a staff that "pitches to contact".

posted by yerfatma at 11:35 AM on October 23

I agree with many of these summations, but think a case could be made for Atkins at 3rd (Lowell hasn't hit as well in the postseason as in the regular season) My thinking on Lowell was that the overall, unadjusted numbers are very similar, making Lowell's better when you neutralize for park factors. I also recall Atkins being subbed in the one-game playoff with San Diego and maybe one of the LDS or LCS games, leading me to believe that perhaps he is a candidate to get pulled as part of the double switch. But it is really pretty close. As to the Manny/Holliday thing, I just think Holliday is a better hitter at this point in his career than Manny is. I also wasn't really adjusting for who is hot at present, as I think that is largely based on chance and isn't really predictive. Look at Pujols in 2004 (and I realize that this is cherry-picking, but it's what first came to mind) -- scorching NLDS (.333/.444/.733) and NLCS (.500/.563/1.000), followed by a pretty pedestrian (by his standards, at least) World Series (.333/.412/.467).

posted by holden at 12:08 PM on October 23

Huh? Lowell during the regular season: Av .324 OBP .378 SLG .501 Post season: Av .333 OBP .372 SLG .528 Am I missing something? Yeah. You're missing making all of your assumptions after game 5, like me.... Wiener-face. (What do you think about that?! Huh?! Blow your mind? Well, that JUST happened!)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:18 PM on October 23

"Colorado is one of the hottest teams in the history of baseball. They've won 20 of 21 and just swept two series. Predicting they'll get swept seems like sudden-onset homerism to me. posted by rcade at 7:38 AM CDT on October 23" So were the Yankees,....and the Indians. Streaks are history and can be cooled off fast. Someone mentioned Detroit of last season, interestingly they are more like this year's Colorado than this year's Boston. Interestingly, Cleveland was arrayed with 20+ homer hitters up and down their lineup, Boston figured them out, even with Boston getting so-so pitching early on. Francona has become an elite manager and has a good staff working with him. He has a stable of proven October winners at his key player positions. I am one for the wonderous upstart winning all, but that is not going to happen this time around, experience, toughness and smarts will prevail and Boston has a lot more of those than Colorado has. A post note on Detroit. Whoever used them as a failing AL team in the WS failed to realize that Detroit faced a St.Louis team that had been to the WS three time out of four years before winning, they had experience and virtually the same lineup that had been trimmed by Houston the year before. Obviouly there are many Rockies fans posting, when I read the postings I see hope winning out over cold logic.

posted by Cave_Man at 05:11 PM on October 23

"Colorado is one of the hottest teams in the history of baseball. They've won 20 of 21 and just swept two series. Predicting they'll get swept seems like sudden-onset homerism to me. posted by rcade at 7:38 AM CDT on October 23" RCade. Weren't you one of those predicting that Ohio State would beat Florida in the National Championship games in football and basketball. You put up elegant summations, all totally wrong

posted by Cave_Man at 05:14 PM on October 23

"Look at Pujols in 2004 (and I realize that this is cherry-picking, but it's what first came to mind) -- scorching NLDS (.333/.444/.733) and NLCS (.500/.563/1.000), followed by a pretty pedestrian (by his standards, at least) World Series (.333/.412/.467). posted by holden at 12:08 PM CDT on October 23 " That why it is best to go with proven winners, in particular when they are still in their prime.

posted by Cave_Man at 05:17 PM on October 23

Except that winners and primes are never known until after the fact.

posted by yerfatma at 05:52 PM on October 23

Cave_Man / You missed the point of my post. The only certain thing in life is paying taxes and dying. I been around for a while and can tell you making predictions is best done with humility and a footnote. I hope that Boston does win because you'll a passionate guy and a true fan. Baseball can use all the fans they can get.

posted by brickman at 05:56 PM on October 23

Obviouly there are many Rockies fans posting There are? Show of hands!

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:04 PM on October 23

Then I looked at a post that gave a virtual unknown an advantage over Manny Ramirez and bursted out laughing. Obviouly there are many Rockies fans posting, when I read the postings I see hope winning out over cold logic. That's interesting. You think other people's comments are laughable (or lacking logic), but you've told everyone that you aren't a "baseball guy" four different times! (1, 2, 3, 4) So why are you badmouthing other people's opinions/analysis of the World Series?

posted by grum@work at 06:09 PM on October 23

Caveman, I think you're trying to jinx the red sox all by yourself. This isn't a contest. Bringing up predictions from basketball threads isn't needed. You think the sox win in 4, fine. If you disagree with someone, give us a reason. But don't turn this into the jim rome show. Yeah. You're missing making all of your assumptions after game 5, like me.... Wiener-face. I only hope mike lowell is as forgiving as I am.

posted by justgary at 06:11 PM on October 23

It seemed kinda dumb to me for Crisp to give up his body like that. The series was over. posted by rcade He's struggled so much offensively that his defense is all he has left. I'm sure he's trying to contribute anyway he can. When you're put in as a late inning defensive replacement it's going to look bad to pull up. Besides, he's always thrown caution to the wind when it comes to sacrificing his body. I doubt he can turn it off. Kenny Lofton was safe, but on the replay you can totally see what the ump was seeing: at normal speed, it looks like the sweeping tag hits Lofton's hand before it hits the bag. Yeah, that play is gonna be called wrong more often times than not. He got the tag down in time, his glove bounces off the base and lofton slides in. It's a shame if anyone blames the ump or the third base coach for this game because that's ridiculous. There's plenty of blame to go around, from their two star pitchers to sizemore and hafner. In fact, with those 4 playing so below their expected level, it's amazing that cleveland was so close to winning the series. In fact, I think the Rockies have a better 1-9. The yankees had a better 1-9. The indians supposedly had a better, balanced 1-9. I think baseball is the weakest sport of the big 3 when it comes to comparing position by position and reading anything into the eventual winner. I think Boston has a good chance of winning the series, but if the rockies can beat beckett in game one I'll be seriously concerned. The Red Sox win saved me from choosing a team to cheer for. I generally would go for the american league team, and the Indians have that whole not winning in 5000 years thing. But there's the logo, and the godawful towels, and lofton...

posted by justgary at 02:32 AM on October 24

My little exercise above somehow neglected to account for catcher, which I think goes into the ADV Red Sox category (Varitek over Torrealba), giving the Red Sox a greater overall line-up advantage at home and on the road.

posted by holden at 11:59 AM on October 24

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