World Series: Maybe Coors Field will help the Rockies
BOSTON ” Maybe going home will help the Colorado Rockies. At this rate, it can’t hurt.
The altitude, the humidor and the spacious outfield.
And maybe no David Ortiz in the lineup without the designated hitter.
The World Series shifts to Coors Field after the Rockies lost 2-1 to the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night, putting them in an 0-2 hole heading into Saturday night’s Game 3 in Denver.
Colorado has won 11 of its last 12 home games, including a thrilling NL wild-card tiebreaker over San Diego, a division clincher over Philadelphia and a thrilling comeback against Arizona for the franchise’s first NL pennant.
During the season, the Rockies were 51-31 at home, tops in the National League.
“We’ve been down to one strike. We’ve been down to one strike, and we’re going home,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “All we have to do is win what, four out of five?”
Of course, they had won 10 straight coming into Boston, where their brilliant bullpen went bust, their starting pitchers couldn’t find the strike zone and their sluggers turned into singles hitters ” when they weren’t striking out.
The Rockies led the NL with a .280 batting average during the season, but hit just .267 in the divisional round and .222 in the championship series. They have managed just two runs in two games in the World Series.
Josh Fogg will face Daisuke Matsuzaka in Game 3 at Coors Field, where the humidor will make its World Series debut.
The Rockies were excited to visit Fenway Park when the Red Sox came back to beat Cleveland in the ALCS. After all, they had won two of three here in June, when they outscored Boston 20-5 and handed Josh Beckett his first loss.
Beckett dominated them in Boston’s blowout win in Game 1, after which third baseman Garrett Atkins shrugged and suggested, “It’s not like they broke our hearts tonight.”
They sure did in Game 2, edging the Rockies in a close one.
The Rockies’ night was summed up nicely when Matt Holliday was picked off first base by closer Jonathan Papelbon after his fourth single of the night to end the eighth inning.
That meant Papelbon wouldn’t have to face Todd Helton representing the go-ahead run.
Holliday had sharp singles all four times up, three of them off Curt Schilling.
And there’s the rub for the Rockies: Their slugger who won the NLCS MVP by homering on consecutive nights against Arizona and has a great shot at winning the NL MVP trophy after hitting 36 homers and collecting 136 RBIs has gone from ball basher to singles hitter.
The Rockies already have enough of those.
Colorado got here by mixing small ball with a bevy of big boppers, but Atkins, Helton, Brad Hawpe and Troy Tulowitzki have lost their long ball prowess.
And now so has Holliday.
He homered twice in each of the Rockies’ first two playoff series, including a three-run shot in the NL pennant clincher. After an 0-for-4 collar in Game 1, he sent several shots over the Green Monster on Thursday night ” during batting practice.
Holliday, Helton, Hawpe, Atkins and Tulowitzki averaged 26 homers and 111 RBIs this year.
In the postseason, they’ve totaled just five homers ” four of them by Holliday and one by Tulowitzki ” and accumulated just 15 RBIs in nine games.
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