It only took the Red Sox one game to figure out their bullpen woes: just crush your opponent offensively, and your pitching won't matter. The Boston Strong came out to play tonight, taking out their beating stick to beat up on Colorado, 11-4. Boston put together a hitting clinic, compiling a season high twenty hits, with all nine starters collecting at least one hit. Rockies starter Juan Nicasio was roughed up early and often, and could not get out of the third inning as he gave up 6 earned runs and twelve hits in 2 1/3 innings. This was the first matchup between Boston and Colorado since the 2007 World Series, when Boston swept the Rockies to win their second World Series in the 21st century. I am sure no one remembers Colorado better than Dustin Pedroia, who destroyed then starter Jeff Francis in Game 1 of the Series, but then was denied coming into the stadium for Game 3 because security did not believe he was a baseball player. Former Manager Terry Francona described it best. According to Francona, Pedroia says, "You don't know who I am? You don't know who I am? Ask Jeff f———- Francis who the f—- I am. I'm the guy who hit a bomb and just ended their f———- season." Anyways, here are the four at bats that changed the game:
1) Getting to Work Early. Boston has made it a habit out of scoring runs in the first inning, and tonight was no exception. Jacoby Ellsbury started off the game with a double, and then Dustin Pedroia singled a fastball to right field to plate Ellsbury. A blink of the eye, and its already 1-0 Sox. Later in the inning, Mike Napoli and David Ortiz walked, and Daniel Nava singled in Pedroia to double their early lead.
2) Let's go, five in a row! In the bottom of the second inning, Boston is leading 2-1 after a Wilin Rosario solo shot off of starter Ryan Dempster. After two quick outs, Boston begins their rally cry to add to their lead with five hits in a row. Shane Victorino doubles, Dustin Pedroia doubles on an opposite field hit to score Victorino, David Ortiz doubles to plate Pedey, then Mike Napoli singles to score Ortiz. Daniel Nava singles to make it five in a row, but he is stranded after Jarrod Saltalamacchia strikes out. It's now 5-1 and Boston is cruising.
3) It's Pedeys World, we are just living it in. It's the top of the third inning, and DJ LeMahieu is batting against Ryan Dempster. LeMahieu smokes a ball that is headed for extra bases, but Dustin Pedroia has other ideas. He times the crushed ball perfectly, leaping and making an excellent grab. Add this play to the pile Pedey has alrerady completed this year, and you have got to say he is headed for a Gold Glove in 2013. The play sums up the game for Boston, as everything is going their way tonight.
4) Offensive Explosion Bottom of the third inning, and the Red Sox are not done tooling on Nicasio. Iglesias and Ellsbury both single, and then Victorino adds in on the fun with his own single. Outfielder Michael Cuddyer has a problem with the ball, and the mistake allows Ellsbury to reach third as Iglesias scores. Pedroia then follows up with a single to center to plate Ellsbury. Seven runs in only three innings for Boston, and they chase starter Juan Nicasio out early. 7-1 Sox.
Boston and Colorado would each score more runs later in the game, but this one was pretty much over by inning three. Of note, Colorado's outfielder, Michael Cuddyer, extended his hitting streak to 23 games with a single in the fourth inning.
Tomorrow's matchup puts Roy Oswalt on display for the Rockies against Jon Lackey. The game starts at 4:05pm.