BASEBALL TONIGHT EXTRA

Rocks hope for another miracle


The story of the first two games of this World Series is the Red Sox's performance with two outs. Boston is hitting an astounding .500 with only one out to spare, and with that kind of approach, along with a dominant bullpen, the Red Sox are impossible to beat. Boston's two relievers on Thursday, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon, were as untouchable as Josh Beckett was in Game 1.

"BASEBALL TONIGHT"
ESPN, 12 a.m. ET
Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: John Kruk, Steve Phillips, Dusty Baker

As the series moves to Colorado, the Rockies have to wonder how much they've got left in the tank. They've barely hit in the first two games, and they have been outplayed by a more veteran, more talented team. The Rockies' best hope is that their home crowd will give the team the boost it needs to get back to the way it had been playing for the previous month -- and not the last two games.

WORLD SERIES GAME 3 PITCHING PREVIEW
RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox
• He is 1-1 with a 5.65 ERA in three postseason starts.
• Went 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in interleague play this season.
• Worth noting: He was 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA in three starts against NL West teams, but didn't face Rockies.
RHP Josh Fogg, Rockies
• He is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA this postseason.
• He is 9-4 with a 5.06 ERA in his career in interleague play (1-0 in two starts vs. Red Sox).
• Key matchup: Mike Lowell (.375 BA, 1 HR, 16 AB).

WORLD SERIES GAME 2 CHAT WITH ROB NEYER
Following are excerpts from Rob Neyer's chat Thursday night. Join Rob again Saturday night when he chats during Game 3 of the World Series:

Kyle (Boston): Do you start Kevin Youkilis or David Ortiz at first in Colorado?

Neyer: I start Ortiz against the righties, and Youk in Game 5 against Jeff Francis. Remember, whoever doesn't start serves as a powerful bullet for Terry Francona if he needs a pinch hitter in the late innings.

Hayley (Sterling, OH): Since they've got the second highest payroll in all of baseball, is anyone outside of Boston cheering for the Red Sox?

Neyer: Well, there are the hundreds of thousands of fans who grew up in New England and now live elsewhere. Plus, there are plenty of fans who grew up elsewhere and came to love the Red Sox for any of a dozen reasons. I suppose they've lost the underdog vote, though. And if they hadn't, they will soon.

NEWS AND NOTES
• The Rockies became the first team since the 2001 Yankees to be held to one run or less in the first two games of the World Series. In 2001, New York managed one run in Game 1 and was scoreless in Game 2.

•  Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury stole second base in the fourth inning, the first stolen base of the World Series. That means Taco Bell will soon announce a Tuesday afternoon when consumers will be able ask for a free taco from one of the chain's 5,800 restaurants.

• Boston's 13-1 win in Game 1 drew a 10.5 fast national rating on Fox, up 31 percent from the record-low 8.0 for last year's Game 1. The 10.5 was the fourth-lowest rating for a World Series game on a night other than Friday or Saturday, when viewership tends to be lower.

BASEBALL TONIGHT MINUTE
Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Dusty Baker and Steve Phillips look at the keys for the Rockies and Red Sox heading into Game 3 of the World Series.
THIS DATE IN POSTSEASON HISTORY:
OCT. 26
2000: Start spreading the news
Luis Sojo's million-bounce single to center brings in two runs in the ninth inning, giving the Yankees a 4-2 victory over the Mets in Game 5 of the 2000 World Series. The Yankees clinch the series, four games to one, beating ex-Yankee Al Leiter in the final game. This was the first "Subway Series" since 1956, when the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1997: The best Fish tale ever
Edgar Renteria's game-winning single in the 11th inning clinches Game 7 of the World Series for the Marlins, who beat the Indians 3-2 in 11 innings. Cleveland was two outs away from winning the World Series, but Craig Counsell tied the score in the ninth with a sacrifice fly, setting the stage for the dramatic finish.
1991: Kirby touches 'em all
Kirby Puckett's home run in the 11th inning gives the Twins a 4-3 victory over the Braves in Game 6 of the World Series, tying the series at three games apiece. Puckett, who made a fantastic leaping catch earlier in the game, had told teammates before the game that he would carry them to victory. He finished with three hits and three RBIs.
1985: A Royal comeback
Dane Iorg's two-run bases-loaded single caps a crazy ninth inning, giving the Royals a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals in Game 6 of the World Series. Kansas City's win tied the series at three games apiece. The inning began with an erroneous call on a play at first base by umpire Don Denkinger, and after that, the Cardinals became a bit frazzled. A botched foul popup and a passed ball set the stage for Iorg's hit.
GAME-ENDING HIT IN WORLD SERIES
AS PINCH HITTER, WITH TEAM TRAILING
Kirk Gibson '88 Dodgers Two-run homer
Dane Iorg '85 Royals Two-run single
Cookie Lavagetto '47 Dodgers Two-run double
All came with two outs

QUOTABLE
"We're going to make a series out of this."
--Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki


 

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