Some thoughts on the League Championship Series as Rock-tober Fest heads for a possible extension into November:
— The Red Sox have the most relentless lineup in baseball. I was amazed in Games 1 and 2 at how many times Indians aces C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona got ahead early in the count, only to find themselves in hitters’ counts later on. Red Sox hitters absolutely refuse to swing at anything outside the strike zone, and they’re terrific at fouling off the tough pitches they can’t handle. Getting through that lineup three or four times a game has to be one of the biggest headaches in baseball.
— That said, the Indians can win this series, because their bullpen is probably just a tad deeper than Boston’s. If any of the duels boils down to the relievers, the game could be determined late as it was in Game 2, and I’d feel much better having to call on Cleveland’s Tom Mastny and Jensen Lewis than I would Boston’s Eric Gagne and Javier Lopez. That may seem like a small thing, but these teams are awfully even, and many of the games could come down a key out or two achieved by a pitcher at the bottom of the bullpen rung.
— Another reason the Indians can win this series: The Red Sox now are scheduled to start Daisuke Matsuzaka in two of the final five games of the series, and that doesn’t inspire much confidence considering 1) the way the Indians swung it against Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling and 2) the way Daisuke pitched in the late stages of the season.
— With all due respect to Eric Byrnes, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The Rockies are absolutely outplaying the Diamondbacks. Colorado is getting all the key hits, and just as important, making all the clutch defensive plays. One example: The absolute ridiculous turn of a double play executed by Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the second inning of Game 3. Prevented a possible early rally by Arizona.
— Nice weather for baseball in Colorado, by the way. And we’re going to see only more examples of it as we move toward and into the World Series. Baseball needs to take a serious look at its schedule format. Even football moves its showcase sight to a warm-weather location.
— Six words that will take six decades to get used to hearing: The National League champion Colorado Rockies.