Red Sox 13, Rockies 11 (10)
The Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox fit a week's worth of baseball and the entire Godfather and Rocky movie series into a single game tonight/'last night. A 10 round bloodbath that never relented in anxierty, drama or violence.
That came on the heels of two other games that could qualify as epics on their own merits.
Both teams approached tonight's game as if it were Game 7 of the World Series. They threw the kitchen sink, emptied the benches, bullpens, had start pitchers running the bases, Melvin Mora returned to second base, Kevin Youkilis played first base without full use of his right arm. All hands on deck as they like to say in October.
Only this was June 24th.
The Rockies wanted this sweep as badly as they wanted Game #163 in 2007, or Game #4 of last year's NLDS. They had to have it. They just couldn't get it.
The Red Sox couldn't afford to be swept. Not with the Yankees starting to distance themselves in the AL East. Not with Tampa Bay securing a win earlier in the day. They had to have it. They got it. They got it because of one man.
As excruciating as tonight's game was to lose from a Rockies perspective, what the hell do you do when a guy catches fire like Dustin Pedroia did?
Not hang him sliders? Yes
Not pitch to him at all? Yes
But for once I agree with Jim Tracy. Walking Pedroia to put a potential winning run in scoring position is too risky. Maybe not as risky as hanging the slider to Pedroia, but that's a spot where you trust your closer to execute his pitches. Huston Street just didn't get the job done.
Matter of fact, Rockies pitchers haven't made a ton of mistakes this season, but every little one was paid for these last two days. The Red Sox offense is pretty special to watch when they are clicking. No easy outs. No ABs given away. No retreat and no surrender.
But that's enough credit for the bad guys. The Rockies also possessed those qualities, and they still get a series win out of this. You have to be encouraged that the offense came off the deck for the second straight night.
Not just came off the deck. The offense was patient and the approaches were all incredibly solid. Guys were willing to take walks. Guys were driving pitches where they were pitched. Guys were battling, spoiling pitches just to get something in play.
I'm hopeful that focus will be exhibited against all opponents from now on, not just opponents of the Red Sox caliber . If the Rockies offense could play with the same focus and determination as they did tonight, and as the Red Sox do all the time, they would be impossible to beat in the NL West.
That's no lie either. The talent is all here. They just need to focus or pretend every opponent is Boston.
The only two real big concerns I have coming out of the series are two forms of fatigue.
Mental fatigue -- The possibility of a letdown of emotions flying to Anaheim and facing another good AL team.
Physical fatigue -- Jeff Francis needs to go deep tomorrow night. Like 8 innings deep. I'm thinking Street and Corpas are definite no gos. Morales probably too. Yikes.
Ok... Final thought of the evening...
I love Jonathan Herrera. Can't say enough about his level of play since entering the everyday lineup. Kid knows how to get on base and set the table. That has definitely set a tone for the offense to bust out.
Good stuff from him.
And good night to you.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Red Sox 13, Rockies 11 (10)