The Red Sox have punched their ticket to the Fall Classic with an 11-2 thrashing of the Indians in Game 7 of the ALCS. Can the cinderella Rox maintain their momentum against the playoff-seasoned Sox?
My butterknife-dull baseball instincts say the Rockies’ buzzsaw is about to hit a solid steel wall. The Red Sox represent a better top-to-bottom attack than they’ve seen during the storied "21-of-22." Momentum, or what’s left of last week’s momentum, is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher, and the Sox will open the World Series by handing the ball to ALCS MVP Josh Beckett, who’s simply unrivaled in the post-season. Then there’s the matter of a stable of playoff studs like Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek, along with a superb cast of extras, like Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia.
Nevertheless, there’s something wicked fishy about a predictable Red Sox win. Conventional wisdom has been betrayed so many times lately that I’ve come to expect the unexpected. This series reminds me a lot of 2003 when experts underestimated Beckett and the upstart Marlins all the way to a World Series title. It could happen again. The Rockies' offense, led by NLCS MVP Matt Holliday, is obviously outstanding, but has anyone noticed that they're pitching their butts off? For example, everyone talks about Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, but has anyone mentioned that Manny Corpas has five saves in seven post-season games? There isn’t a single standout; Clint Hurdle is handing the ball to five or six guys a night and they're getting it done in short bursts. A World Series dominated by Colorado’s no-name pitching is so absurd, it’s plausible.
These teams truly have nothing in common, other than making equally intriguing and justifiable cases for winning it all.