Thursday, October 25, 2007

2007 World Series - Game 1

Is there a better way for the home team to start a game? 1-2-3 on strikeouts in the top of the 1st, lead-off home run in the bottom of the 1st.

  • After Boston beat Cleveland in game 1 of the ALCS, the talk in Boston was of the inevitability of the Red Sox winning the series. After Cleveland beat Boston in game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead, the same people wanted Terry Francona fired. This morning, it is once again all sunshine and lollipops, the Rockies are psychologically damage, the series will be a sweep featuring four blowouts, the Rockies can't play with the Red Sox, yadda, yadda, yadda. All hogwash, in other words. The Red Sox are up 1-0. Period.

  • Regardless of Chris Berman's repeated comments about "the bye week" hurting the Rockies, it is impossible to know whether last night's performance was a result of rust, nerves, Boston's performance, or just a bad night. Or some combination of those factors. It certainly seems possible that all of those played into it. Some of the Rockies mentioned rust and game speed, though the manager won't let them have it as an excuse.

  • By the numbers:
    • Three Boston pitchers threw 119 pitches. Six Rockies pitchers threw 197.

    • 13-1 - largest margin of victory in game 1 in World Series history. If I'm not mistaken, the teams tied for 2nd now, with an 11-run game 1 margin, both lost the series.

    • 8 doubles - ties World Series Record

    • 9 extra-base hits - ties World Series record

    • 13 runs scored - record for runs in game 1 of the World Series

    • 3rd consecutive post-season game scoring 10 runs or more - post-season record

    • 2-out rally with 9 consecutive batters reaching base - first time in World Series history

    • As part of that 5th inning rally, the Red Sox drew three consecutive bases-loaded walks. No one has said that that's a record, not that I've seen anyway, but I find it hard to believe that it wouldn't be.

  • In the first five innings, Josh Beckett threw 79 pitches. Four Rockies pitchers combined to throw 156.

  • "If Ubaldo goes more than six, it will be an upset of Buster Douglas proportions."
    - Gerry Callahan, as I'm writing

    He's gone more than 6 innings 7 times in 17 starts. He's gone 6 even in 3 more. Even understanding that the Red Sox have both a better and more patient offense than most of the teams he's done it against, it would be an upset on the order of flipping heads twice in a row. Callahan's obviously not a rational unbiased analyst, but that's the level of analysis that is to be expected from WEEI.

  • Tracy Ringolsby, Rocky Mountain News: "It was so frightening," one press box wag announced, "that Stephen King left."
    Woody Paige, Denver Post: "Novelist Stephen King left after the fifth inning, apparently never having seen anything that scary."

  • In my preview, I reference the Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds. I was surprised by the fact that the Sox were such a big underdog in that model, and had sent an email to Clay Davenport asking what I was missing. Well, I apparently wasn't the only one who questioned him. He made some changes when the pitching rotations were finally announced, and the odds changed significantly. Boston doesn't hit lefties well, neither does Colorado. Replacing Morales with Cook and Wakefield with Lester both change the odds in Boston's favor. From 56-44 Colorado, it went to 59-41 Boston.

    He then went through further exercise, doing game by game calculations based on adjustments to hitter and pitcher handedness, with the following results:

    Odds of winning series
    TeamSeries ResultOdds





    Boston Wins (total)73.6%





    Colorado Wins (total)26.4%

    So the first pass of the generic playoff odds simulation suggested that the Rockies were big favorites. The adjusted version suggested that the Red Sox were huge favorites. Today's update isn't up yet, but obviously, the odds of Colorado sweeping are gone and the odds of Colorado winning at all are down.

  • All of which is interesting, but, to reiterate an earlier point, the Red Sox are up 1-0. Period.

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