As we enjoy the final days of October, the World Series is finally about to begin. The Colorado Rockies roared through the NL playoffs with seven straight wins. The Boston Red Sox had to come back from a 3-1 deficit in games. The decision by manager Terry Francona not to start staff ace Josh Beckett three times (which I had second-guessed) was vindicated. Beginning in game 4 when the decision was made, the Sox got two quality starts, one poor start, and a start in game 7 (two runs in five innings) that’s fine when Boston is playing in Fenway Park. More importantly, Boston won three out of the four games.
The World Series looks like a mis-match. Boston won 96 regular season games and outscored its opponents by 210 runs. Playing in an inferior league, Colorado won 89 regular season games and outscored the opposition by only 102 runs. Yet last year, the same method of comparison pointed even more strongly to a World Series rout by Detroit. Instead the St. Louis Cardinals routed the Tigers.
Boston, though, has a more seasoned team than Detroit did last year. In particular, the three main Red Sox starters all have substantial big game experience — Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling in past World Series games and Diasuke Matsuzaka at the international level. Don’t expect them to melt down defensively the way Detroit’s pitching staff did last year.
But modern World Series history teaches us to expect the unexpected, or at least not to be surprised by it. I’m looking for a fairly comfortable victory by Boston, but won’t be surprised if the Rockies come out on top.
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