Before I tried to go to work, only to have my car not start, I caught some commentary from Fox's Ken Rosenthal while he was talking to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. They asked him why the Rockies were struggling so furiously with the Red Sox when they had just swept their way through the Cubs and Diamondbacks. Sure, there is the argument that it's the Rockies layoff, or maybe the playing conditions, but Rosenthal had a pretty solid argument as
The Red Sox are a lot better than the Phillies or Diamondbacks. The Rockies too, for that matter. I find it curious that so many
didn't think to factor that into their World Series picks. I include my self in that group. Let's break this down. I'll even throw in the Phillies and Diamondbacks to show how clearly superior the Red Sox are. Analysis as needed.
Red Sox: Varitek.
Advantage: Red Sox, without any argument, both behind the plate and at bat.
Red Sox: Youkilis
Advantage: In most situations, the Phillies win out here, but in the postseason, Youkilis is hitting .422. .422! Oh, and when they are playing in Colorado, the Red Sox will bat this Ortiz fellow, that I hear is pretty good.
Red Sox: Pedroia
Advantage: Rockies, in a very close battle. Ojeda had an empty batting average (all singles, no walks) this offseason and Utley hit .182, while Matsui and Pedroia have been veritable monsters for their teams. Matsui has been better in the post season by a slim margin, but Pedroia is going to be the rookie of the year. (Be careful so he doesn't sell his World Series trophy replica).
Red Sox: Lowell
Advantage: Red Sox. Atkins has the second best postseason batting average for third basemen in this comparison at .194. The Phillies started three different 3rd basemen against the Rockies, and none got a hit. In the regular season, Atkins splits away from Coors are dreadful, and I couldn't pick any of the four from Arizona or Philly out of a lineup.
Red Sox: Lugo
Advantage: Of a good group of short stops, Stephen Drew has had the best postseason by far, and Jimmy Rollins is one of the most effective shortstops in the game, but hit .182 this post season. As I'm sure you've heard, the best hitting shortstop in the World Series is Troy Tulo-- Wait. Julio Lugo. Higher batting average, but lower slugging percentage, which is ok, because he can still score in front of the bigger bats in Boston's line up (Tulowitzki is batting .226, if you were wondering, while Lugo is at .282).
Red Sox: Ramirez
Advantage: Red Sox. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Manny is batting .447 in the postseason, and he still finds time to befriend soup
Red Sox: Crisp
Advantage: Diamondbacks? Chris Young is the only player here that has done anything this postseason, and really, he had the best regular season as well. I guess he is why they made the playoffs, huh? And of the World Series teams, I have to give the Colorado platoon the nod. To say Coco Crisp has underperformed falls wildly short of the truth.
Red Sox: Drew
Advantage: If Justin Upton could have played all the games instead of platooning with Jeff Salazar, theirs would have been the best Right Field of this group, but they didn't and the position batted .250, lower than Brad Hawpe. By the way, guess how many extra base hits Hawpe has this postseason? The same as me! So, in the end, J.D. Drew is the best of the right fielders here.
Red Sox: Beckett, Schilling, Matsuzaka
Rockies: Francis, Fogg, Jiminez
Diamondbacks: Webb, Hernandez, Davis
Phillies: Hamels, Kendrick, Moyer
Advantage: Red Sox again. Beckett has been lights out all year, Schilling pitches his best in the post season, an frankly, even if they aren't getting what they paid for yet, the Red Sox have a better pitcher with Dice-K than all of the others listed, aside from Webb, Hernandez and Hamels.
Advantage: Ok. Name someone from the Diamondbacks or Phillies bullpen. Go.
Kyle Lohse? Is that it? I thought so. And the Rockies have LaTroy Hawkins and Ramon Ortiz. Generally speaking, that many former Twins in a bullpen isn't the greatest idea, especially when they are rejects from Minnesota. Jonathan Papelbon is very good in the bullpen. End of story.
So, broken down, I don't really see any way that the Rockies pull this series out. The Red Sox, out of 10 categories were the best in 7 of them. The Diamondbacks had the top shortstop and centerfielder, while the Rockies have an advantage at 2nd. Because of Kaz Matsui. The Rockies can only hope it snows in Colorado this weekend.
Labels: Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies