Aplogize for the late post today, but life happens. But at least I’ll get this in under the wire (a.k.a, the first pitch).
If you read my column, you’re well aware of what I’d like to see happen in this series. The Colorado Rockies are a great story, and to see them finish would make them one of the most memorable champions of all time in any sport. That said, my guess is the Red Sox in five, if not four. Colorado has spent so much time off that I imagine it will be tough for them to get their vibe back, and I just can’t see Colorado’s pitchers getting Red Sox hitters out again and again.
Then again, as Joaquin Andujar often said, you never know. So in that spirit, here are five players that will have to come up big for the Rockies to complete this run:
1. RHP, Ubaldo Jimenez: The Game 2 starter has long arms and filthy stuff, all of which could combine to make him nasty to hit. You have to assume the Rockies won’t win the opener, because Boston is throwing Josh Beckett. How Jimenez performs figures to determine whether Colorado goes home with a split.
2. Garrett Atkins, 3B: You’d imagine the Red Sox don’t want to let NL MVP candidate Matt Holliday beat them. Thus, Atkins probably will receive many RBI chances. He’ll have to take advantage.
3. Troy Tulowitzki, SS: His range is superior to that of Cleveland’s Jhonny Peralta, and that means Boston should not get as many balls through the left side as they did against the Indians in the ALCS.
4. Kaz Matsui, 2B: He hasn’t really been on base every time he’s batted during the playoffs. It only seems that way. But if it continues, then Boston’s pitchers will have several high-pitch, high-stress innings.
5. Manny Corpas, RHP: When the Rockies take a lead into the ninth, they can’t let it get away. Don’t think Corpas doesn’t know that.