World Series: Game 1 Recap

1193321574Well that was easy. A little too easy if you ask most fans this morning. As expected, Josh Beckett was dominant. Everybody hit, which was a good sign. But when Julio Freaking Lugo goes 3-for-4 and Eric Gagne pitches a spotless ninth, you know it’s a good night.

It can’t be that simple, right? Of course not. Or has everyone already forgotten the Cleveland series?

There’s not much to talk about in the wake of a blowout like that, unless we want to discuss Tim McCarver’s apparent break-up with Derek Jeter and his new man-crush on Troy Tulowitzki… which we do not.

Instead, we’ll give you three reasons why this series is ov-ah, and three reasons why it hasn’t even begun yet, after the jump.

Let’s start with three very good reasons why this 2007 World Series will look a lot like 2004 rather quickly.

1. It’s been said a few times, but the American League really is the varsity and the N.L. is JV. Watching the Sox hitters work the count even when it was blowout city, was a quick lesson in American League baseball.

The Sox were constantly in hitters’ counts and did most of their damage with two outs. Boston also drew six walks, including three with the bases loaded, and saw 195 pitches in eight innings. The Rockies, meanwhile, saw 119 pitches in nine innings and had one walk. Most of that is Beckett, who is on another planet right now, but the Boston hitters who live to wear down other team’s starting pitching are also locked in. (Jayson Stark has a good look at the historical context of the Sox offensive splurge).

2. Beckett. He is Roger Clemens without the choke. He is Curt Schilling, with three extra MPH on his fastball and a healthy ankle. Let’s not compare him to Pedro, circa 1999 and 2000. That would be unfair. Let’s just appreciate what we are seeing.

3. Batting ninth, the designated hitter Ryan Spilborghs. The Rockies are a fine offensive team, but their lineup has holes. Willy Tavarez is Corey Patterson, Lite.

All that said, one game does not a series make, and there is much to suggest the Rockies will make a go at this. You don’t win 21-of-22 by accident, after all.

1. Curt Schilling, Daiskue Matsuzaka, and Jon Lester. Anyone know what we can expect out of those three? No? In many ways, the series starts tonight.

2. As good as Fenway is to the Sox… The Rockies are a much better team in Denver. The outfield is huge, which will mean a lot of room to cover for Jacoby Ellsbury and JD Drew. Even with the humidor the ball flies out toward the gaps, and there were a couple of Monster doubles last night that would have been gone at Coors.

3. While in Denver, there is that small matter of what to with David Ortiz? The first guess is Terry Francona will work a three-way platoon system between Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, and Mike Lowell where everyone sits one game, but it’s not going to be a fun decision for Tito to take any of those guys out of the lineup.

It is overstating things, but last night was something of a must-win game for the Sox with their ace on the mound and two-and-a-half question marks behind him in the rotation. (Schilling gets a half a question mark because he has been both good and bad this postseason and his margin for error is very thin).

Is it over? Obviously not, but it’s a hell of a start.