Commentary

Sweeps, blowouts, insects ... but little drama this postseason

Originally Published: October 27, 2007
By Jim Caple | ESPN.com

DENVER -- There's only one October. And thank God for that.

WORLD SERIES

Rockies-Red Sox
series page
Oh, for a moment there, things got interesting Saturday night. Down by six runs early, the Rockies' offense finally came to life in a sudden late rally. Matt Holliday slammed a three-run homer to close the deficit to 6-5 and send an electrical charge throughout Coors Field. A guy dressed as Uncle Sam danced by a concession stand. A guy dressed as the Jolly Green Giant hollered and waved his towel. Another guy braving the 39-degree weather without a shirt hopped up and down in the aisle. And yet another guy dressed in a gorilla suit clapped his big, hairy paws together. Suddenly, unexpectedly, the World Series was fun again.

But it was only for a moment.

Then Clint Hurdle, managing his team as if he was Homer Simpson working a Rubik's cube, unaccountably removed reliever Matt Herges right after he had struck out the side in the seventh on 14 pitches. He brought in Brian Fuentes, who immediately allowed three runs, putting the game out of reach again so that it fit right back into the rest of this sorry month:

The worst postseason in baseball history.

[+] EnlargeRockies fans
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesRockies fans were excited early on in Game 3, but by the end of the game, they were a disappointed bunch.
This is the seventh series this postseason and it likely will be the fifth to end in a sweep (of the 22 previous teams to take a 3-0 World Series lead, 19 swept it). Of the other two series, one ended in four games. Even the one series that went the limit scarcely had a good game -- the average margin of victory in the American League Championship Series was five runs, with Boston outscoring Cleveland 30-5 the final three games. And let's not get into all the days off without any game at all.

You know a postseason is bad when the most interesting moment is an invasion of insects.

This World Series has been particularly disappointing. It held such promise. Old against young. The tradition and history-bound Boston Red Sox with their powerful lineup, intriguing starters and Riverdancing closer against the upstart Colorado Rockies and their powerful lineup, solid bullpen and miraculous winning stretch. Cramped and historic Fenway Park versus enormous and new Coors Field. Minutemen versus cowboys. Sea level versus mile high. The Green Monster versus the humidor. Samuel Adams versus the microbrewery.

This not only brought us the first World Series game started by a Japanese pitcher, it gave us a new concession item: the frightening Rocky Mountain oyster. (It's true. The Rockies not only sell deep-fried bull testicles in their stadium, they sold them out during Game 3.)

And not only that, all the series had to do was go to a Game 5, and we would have had a historic convergence: a World Series game and a Monday Night Football game played in the same city on the same night.

Oh, it was going to be good. All those passionate (i.e., obnoxious) Red Sox fans, plus a brand new set of fans experiencing the World Series for the very first time.

But what have we gotten? A 13-1 Game 1 blowout, a 2-1 Game 2 that despite its close score, never seemed in doubt after the fifth inning and then Saturday's 10-5 Game 3.

You know a postseason is bad when the most interesting moment is an invasion of insects.

Remember when the old Red Sox used to play those epic World Series, the sort that made grown men cry? I know the old Sox always wound up losing, but damn, those were entertaining series. I miss them. These new Sox are like the old Yankees. They just bludgeon teams. The 2004 Sox not only swept that series, they never even trailed at the end of any inning. This year, they have led in 21 of the possible 27 innings, and there has only been one lead change.

Meanwhile, the Rockies, who almost went undefeated for three weeks, now have gone almost two weeks without a win.

So much for the great expectations. As one father said to his son during Saturday's game, "Well, at least you're here to see it. Even if it is s---."

The World Series will likely end Sunday night, and a sweep would make it official. This will be the worst postseason ever. The only hope is for the Rockies to stage another miraculous comeback.

Where are the swarming insects when you need them?

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Jim Caple | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com