Who's hot? Everyone in a Red Sox uniform
BOSTON -- Are they still up there, working those counts? Drawing their 78th bases-loaded walk of the night? Cranking those doubles up the gaps, down the lines, off the Monster?Has Manny Ramirez made an out yet? Did Kevin Youkilis ever get rescued from the basepaths -- or is he still out there?
Have the Boston Red Sox stopped scoring yet? Or is Game 1 of the World Series still going on?Sorry. We should know this stuff. But watching the Red Sox orbit those bases Wednesday night gave us a serious case of vertigo. And if they made us dizzy, you can only imagine all the afflictions they must have laid on those poor Colorado Rockies. Ya think the Rockies were getting nostalgic for that Arizona Diamondbacks lineup Wednesday as Game 1 of this World Series unraveled on them? The Rockies gave up eight runs to Arizona in the entire NLCS. They gave up nine runs just in a span of (gulp) 14 hitters Wednesday, on the way to a 13-1 mashing by the Red Sox. You can mark down that 13-1 score as the most lopsided Game 1 blowout in World Series history. And if you want to chalk that up to rust, eight-day layoffs, jet lag or sea-level readjustment issues on the part of the Rockies, go right ahead.
[The Red Sox hitters] are going to make the pitcher throw three tough pitches to get them out. ... Every guy is seeing five, six, seven, eight pitches. And then boom ... one swing of the bat. It makes it tough.
--Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan
"You know," said Lowell, when informed of some of those feats, "when you hear that stuff after the fact, you say, 'Wow. We did that.' But while you're doing it, you're so focused, on every pitch, every inning, every at-bat, you don't even think about it."Neverthless, it's the sheer accumulation of what they do every pitch, every inning, every at-bat, that makes all this possible -- and makes this lineup what it is -- an official pitcher's nightmare.
The leadoff man, that pesky 4-foot-6 (or whatever he is) Dustin Pedroia, is now 8-for-18 over his last four games, with two homers, three doubles, seven runs scored, six RBIs and three walks. And all he did to kick off this game was crunch the second World Series pitch ever tossed in his direction over the Monster for a historic leadoff home run.That bomb made Pedroia just the second player in history to lead off the first inning of any World Series opener with a homer. And he and the other guy to do it -- the Orioles' Don Buford (who homered off Tom Seaver in the 1969 opener) -- are also the only two leadoff men ever to do that in the first World Series at-bats of their careers. Asked if he'd gone up there trying to hit a home run, Pedroia laughed. "I think I hit, like, 10 all year," he retorted. "So ... no." But he admitted that he did head up there thinking about setting a tone. And he sure accomplished that. "Yeah, it was great," Lowell deadpanned, "because it meant he could come back to the dugout and tell us how hard he hit that ball."
It also meant, however, that the volcanic Red Sox offense was right back in full-throttle lava flow. So by the time the first inning was over, they'd mugged Francis for five hits and three runs -- making this just the ninth time in World Series history that a team had scored that many runs in the first inning of Game 1.It took Francis 30 pitches to survive that inning. And there was more where that came from. By the end of the second, he was already up to 57 pitches. And he was gone after four innings -- forced to hurl 103 pitches just to get 12 outs. "That," said Clayton, "is unbelievable." But after Francis departed, down 6-1, this mess just got messier. Franklin Morales succeeded him -- and became the first pitcher in any postseason game in history to give up seven runs or more without even making it through an inning. Oof.
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