Red Sox Rout Rockies in Game 1 of World Series
LYNN NEARY, host:
The Boston Red Sox won the first game of the World Series last night, thumping the Colorado Rockies 13-1. That's the most lopsided Game 1 victory in series history. The Rockies came into the championship round having won 21 of their last 22 games. It was an unprecedented hot streak.
But now the Red Sox are the team on fire thanks to their phenomenal hitting and another dominating performance by ace pitcher Josh Beckett.
NPR's Tom Goldman reports.
TOM GOLDMAN: Hours before Josh Beckett walked to the pitcher's mound, the Beckett effect already was spreading through out the green confines of Fenway Park, a sense of confidence among fans like 46-year-old Ed Connor(ph), that Beckett's play of brilliance would continue in this World Series.
Mr. ED CONNOR (Red Sox Fan): I think we've got two wins. When he pitches - starts two games, I think we'll have two wins.
GOLDMAN: These being the new Boston Red Sox, a franchise that vanquished its play-off demons with the World Series victory in 2004, the players often live up to their fans' expectations. So as soon as Josh Beckett got to the mound last night, he got right to work on win number one. He struck out the first three Colorado batters he faced, and the jolt that sent throughout Fenway continued into the bottom on the first inning.
(Soundbite of cheers)
GOLDMAN: Boston lead-off man Dustin Pedroia, a rookie whose star is rising fast, hit a home run. Then Kevin Youkilis hit a double. He scored when Manny Ramirez singled, and the onslaught was on.
Here's Youkilis after the game.
Mr. KEVIN YOUKILIS (Boston Red Sox): You know, our motto is always early and often, and try to get as many runs through; and Dustin, you know, he came up there and hit that home run and that was - that was huge.
GOLDMAN: The three first inning runs were all the Red Sox would need to support Beckett. But they all kept going. Beckett kept shutting down the Rockies' batters. Boston hitters kept shelling Colorado pitchers. The Red Sox's eight doubles tied a World Series record.
In a disastrous fifth inning for the Rockies, Boston scored seven runs, three when Colorado relief pitcher Ryan Speier walked three straight batters with the bases loaded.
After the game, Rockies veteran first baseman Todd Helton said he was not sure what the final score was. But he said we were a little rusty.
The Rockies swept their first two play-off series and had an eight-day layoff until last night. But manager Clint Hurdle refused to say that had an effect.
Mr. CLINT HURDLE (Manager, Colorado Rockies): We're a no excuse ball club. Always have been and we're going to be, so we're out-played tonight.
GOLDMAN: And the understatement of the night?
Mr. HURDLE: We've got some things we can work on.
GOLDMAN: Probably the Red Sox do too. Although after winning their last four postseason games by a combined score of 43 runs to 6, it's kind of hard to pinpoint those areas that need shoring up.
Maybe first baseman Youkilis, owner of a massively thick goatee, can help a lot of his Boston buddies fill out their scraggly little billy goat chin beards.
Josh Beckett has the hint of chin whiskers. But it's doubtful anyone wants to mess with anything he's doing. Last night's victory put his 2007 playoff record at four wins and no losses. He struck out 35 total batters and simply dominated.
You watch him on the mound, his face is placid, his actions so deliberate they almost seem to be in slow motion. For a guy so tuned in, one shouldn't be surprised that his post-game comments had the same ruthless efficiency he shows on the mound. For instance, he was asked last night how he's reacting to his near flawless performances.
Mr. JOSH BECKETT (Boston Red Sox): I hope my teammates are happy. That's who I'm really here to please. You know, if they're happy, I'm happy.
GOLDMAN: Who knows. If what happened last night continues for the rest of the series, Josh Beckett may just smile when he says that.
Tom Goldman, NPR News, Boston.