Rox ready for Sox
October 22, 2007
DENVER ” Now that they know their opponent, the Rox are ready to take on the Sox.
“We’re under the radar. It’s being billed as a David and Goliath situation. But that’s OK,” Colorado Rockies reliever Matt Herges said Monday. “We’re as confident as anybody, we’re as hot as anybody. We think we’re as good as anybody.”
Colorado’s eight-day wait is almost over. After Monday’s workout at Coors Field, the Rockies headed to Boston. They’ll work out Tuesday at Fenway Park, where the World Series opens the following night.
Both teams are hot, as pennant winners should be. The Rockies, in the World Series for the first time, have won 21 of 22. Boston completed its comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the AL championship series against Cleveland with an 11-2 victory in Game 7 Sunday night.
Colorado took two of three at Fenway Park in June, outscoring the Red Sox 20-5. The Rockies roughed up both Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling, scoring 12 runs in 10 innings off the pair.
“That at least gives us some familiarity,” outfielder Matt Holliday said. “But that doesn’t mean anything in the World Series.”
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Ryan Spilborghs credits that trip for alleviating some of the jitters as the Rockies prepare to visit Fenway Park again. Rockies players did some sightseeing around Boston when they were there during the regular season and even signed their names inside the Green Monster.
“We’re not going to be awe-struck by the field,” Spilborghs said. “We’re not going to be shocked by the size of the locker room or the narrow alleys or by any of the field’s quirks. We’ve been there, we’ve played well there. We played with the fans yelling at us. It’s not going to be new.”
That’s not entirely the case. Herges wasn’t up with the team when the Rockies made the trip to Boston.
“Everyone says there’s nothing like Fenway,” said Herges, who has given up just one hit in 3 2-3 innings in the postseason. “I can only imagine having watched on television. It’s just nice to know who we’re playing. It’s going to be fun.”
Facing Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz is going to be fun? The fearsome twosome are hitting a combined .393 in the postseason with seven homers.
“They’re great players,” reliever Brian Fuentes said. “We fear nobody. They’re the best. But they weren’t hitting a thousand last time I checked. Someone is getting them out.”
Jeff Francis, 2-0 in the postseason with a 2.13 ERA, starts the opener on 12 days’ rest.
“It means a lot that they want me on the mound in a game like this,” Francis said.
Beckett, 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA in three playoff games, will be pitching with five days’ rest.
“He’s as good as anyone I’ve ever seen,” Herges said. “He’s got the stuff, the tenacity, the makeup ” you can’t rattle him. We have Jeff going. We’re as confident (with Francis) as if we had Beckett going.”
Spilborghs thought about sitting at home Sunday evening and watching Game 7 of the ALCS.
He went to the Denver Broncos game, instead.
“We didn’t care who we were going to play,” said Spilborghs, who received constant updates on the baseball on his iPhone as he watched the Broncos’ 31-28 win over Pittsburgh. “The Red Sox are going to be a lot of fun to play.”
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle had a feeling Colorado might face Boston, a team steeped in tradition. The Red Sox broke an 86-year World Series drought by winning in 2004.
“I think this for me was the way it was meant to me,” Hurdle said. “This is a big-time franchise. A storied franchise. They were able to dust off some things in 2004. To go to Fenway? That’s dripping with drama and history. For us, it’s good. I’m really looking forward to it.”
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