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Holliday’s Daze
2007-10-26 11:12
by Mike Carminati

I can't blame Matt Holliday. The entire Colorado offense was lulled to sleep.

However, Holliday, who did go four-for-four and collected all but one of the Rockie hits, epitomized his teams night when he was picked off first to end not only the eighth inning but the final of many stillborn Colorado rallies of the night as the Red Sox won game two, 2-1. It was the first time that Jonathan Papelbon had ever picked off a runner in his admittedly somewhat brief career.

It was an inexcusable poor play, an unfortunate play for someone who is arguably the best player on his team. Holliday got caught leaning toward second base though his lead off of first was not that large. Somehow, as Papelbon threw to first, and the pitcher admitted that pickoff call came from the bench, Holliday hovered a few feet—or probably the nine feet that TBS had been emblazoning across the bathpaths during their broadcasts—and seemed, more than anything else, surprised by the throw. He ended up being picked off by a few feet.

There's plenty of blame to spread around on this team, but Holliday because of this play and the off day, might become the poster child of the Rockies offensive malaise, their purple haze if one speaks McCarverian. I think this loss has to hurt the Rockies more than the monumentally lopsided game one that was so ridiculous that it could be dismissed out of hand.

The Rockies become just the fifteenth team to score two runs or fewer in the first two games of a World Series. Those teams won just five of fourteen Series while being swept five times. So you could say they have the same odds of being swept as winning the series based on historical results:

TeamYrGWGLG 1-2 RG 1-2 RA
New York Yankees200134113
New York Yankees199642116
San Francisco Giants198904110
St. Louis Cardinals19674326
Los Angeles Dodgers196604211
Philadelphia Phillies19500413
Brooklyn Dodgers19491411
New York Yankees19494111
Boston Braves19482424
Cincinnati Reds19390416
New York Giants193714216
New York Giants19215306
Boston Red Sox19184223
Philadelphia Athletics19140418

Now, the Rockies return home with a ton of pressure on their shoulders, and game three starter Josh Fogg does not inspire a tremendous amount of confidence.

Of the 42 best-of-seven series that started out 2-0 for the home team, ten or almost one quarter ended up a sweep. Almost three-quarters ended up a series win for the leading team. Here are the results broken down:

Won Series1126%
Lost Series3174%

And it doesn't get much better for the Rockies even if they win game three. One quarter of those teams ended up losing their next two, and two-thirds ended up losing the series eventually.

Won Series933%
Lost Series1867%

Which bring us to game four, the game that potentially evens the series if Colorado wins game three (or ends the series if the loss game three). That game will be a total crapshoot with Aaron Cook returning from a two and one-half hiatus versus Tim Wakefield replacement John Lester, who started just eleven games this year, the last coming over a month ago when he lasted just four and one-third allowing seven hits and five runs (4 earned).

By the way, if anyone else was sicked by the Fox "interview" of Taco Bell's CEO who just happened to be at the ballpark, please joing me in avoiding Fox programming and sponsors whenever possible. I have never been to Taco Bell so I have to go the extra mile. I already gave up on 24. As if Fox repeatedly mentioning the pointless stolen base promotion and not only repeatedly replaying the play itself but a micked coach's explanation of the promotion was not enough. It was a new low for a network that came into its own by aiming low. To Tim Mcarver's credit, he called them shills albeit while making another cringe-worthy pun, this time to Curt Schilling's name, but it was the highlight of his broadcasting career for me.

Finally, the Baseball Analysts have a great piece on how Red Sox fandom has changed over the years. As someone who lived in Boston at the cusp of the Shaughnessy-induced tragic fandom period, I found it very helpful in explaining the evolution of the so-called Red Sox Nation. Thanks to my friend Murray for the link.

2007-10-26 12:00:10
1.   Xeifrank
It looks as if atleast two of those teams scoring 2 or less runs in the first two games actually won one of those games, did any others?

Most publications, including Vegas put the Rockies chances of winning this series (down 2-0) at anywhere from 10% to 20%.
vr, Xei

2007-10-28 20:22:01
2.   bhsportsguy
BTW A-Rod opted out.

Just covering my bases. :)

2007-10-29 05:44:37
3.   markh
I'd actually have to say Fox "interviewing" the Bud commercial athlete in character during the game in 2004 was already the lowest of the low.

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