Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rocktober is Rapidly Turning Into a Rocky Mountain Low

Boston struck early, Colorado finally showed signs of life late but in the end it all added up to a 10-5 Red Sox victory over the Rockies in game three of the World Series. The Red Sox are now one win away from not only a championship but from their second World Series sweep in three years; Boston Manager Terry Francona is the first skipper in World Series history to win his first seven career games.

After two scoreless innings Boston provided a flashback to game one's power surge: Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double, Dustin Pedroia safely bunted him over to third and David Ortiz' double knocked in a run. Colorado intentionally walked Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell made the Rockies pay with a two-run single. After a single and a walk, Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka helped his own cause (don't you love that cliche?) with a two-run single, bringing Ellsbury to the plate for the second time in the inning. This time he delivered an RBI double.

Both teams' bats were silent until the sixth inning. Matsuzaka yielded the mound to Javier Lopez after giving up back to back walks but Colorado finally did some damage as Brad Hawpe and Yorvit Torrealba each delivered RBI singles. Mike Timlin then came in for Lopez and got the Red Sox out of the two on, one out jam.

The Red Sox went down quietly in the top of the seventh inning and the Rockies made their first--and perhaps final--bid to turn this into a competitive series as Matt Holliday's three run homer electrified the home fans and cut Boston's lead to 6-5. However, the electricity was cut off, hope died and the series effectively ended after the Red Sox put up three big runs in the top of the eighth, powered by their weapon of choice in games one and three: the double--two of them actually, one by Ellsbury and one by Pedroia. Ellsbury finished with four hits, including three of Boston's seven doubles; he is the first rookie in 61 years to club four hits in a World Series game (Joe Garagiola was the last rookie who did this). Colorado managed just one hit in the eighth inning, Boston tacked on an insurance run in the ninth and the Rockies managed just a Hawpe triple in the bottom of the ninth.

Colorado entered the World Series on one of the greatest season-closing runs in sports history but the Rockies' fairy tale story seems to be nine innings away from a most unhappy ending.

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