Schilling’s Last Call?

(Afternoon Links Provided by Guest Blogger: David Vidinha. Dave can be contacted at [email protected])

After last night’s rout of the Colorado Rockies, Terry Francona will hand the ball to Curt Schilling in hopes of flying to Denver with a 2-0 series lead. The Sox offense, which is currently on fire, tore into Colorado pitching last night on their way to a 13-1 victory, and breaking some World Series records on the way. The Sox offense set a record for runs and victory margin in an opener. The Sox offense has now outscored opponents 43-6 in their last four games. Red Sox ace Josh Beckett wasn’t too shabby himself, allowing six hits over seven innings of work. Beckett struck out nine and walked only one (Spilborghs on two questionable balls) improving to 4-0 with a 1.20 ERA in the postseason this year.

Meanwhile, Schilling who may possibly be pitching in his final home game at Fenway will look to keep the momentum in the Sox favor. The big right hander last pitched Saturday in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Indians. In that game Schilling was effective, allowing only two runs on six hits over seven innings; he struck out five and walked none on a way to a convincing 12-2 victory. Schilling faced Colorado earlier this season and was shelled for six runs on nine hits, but we saw just how relevant those games were last night.

The Rockies will counter with their 23-year-old hard throwing right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez who went 4-4 with a 4.28 ERA in 15 regular-season starts, will look to do something opposing pitchers have had difficulty doing as of late, silence the Sox bats. With a fastball hovering around the century mark, Jimenez has been dominant in this postseason. Jimenez last pitched on October 12th, going five innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits, striking out six, while walking four.

Tonight’s game will give us a much better idea of how this series will play out. Currently there isn’t a team in baseball that can mount any semblance of an offensive attack versus Josh Beckett. That leaves tonight’s matchup even more intriguing for two reasons. First, we will be able to see if the rest of the starting rotation will answer the call, and second, was Game 1’s abysmal performance by Colorado a side effect of the long layover or more realistically an example of Beckett’s dominance. Only time will tell.

Around the Web

All but one of the Red Sox starters scored above a B in John Donovan’s Game 1 Report Card.

On the night his favorite Red Sox player is pitching, Dan Shaughnessy answers your questions in today’s chat.

Tom Verducci credits the extensive scouting, not Colorado rust, as the main reason for the Red Sox Game 1 success.

Gene Wojciechowski has an open letter to Red Sox Nation.

Fox Sports Mark Kriegal asks the question “if the Rockies spent the past eight days engaged in simulated games, what exactly were they simulating?”

Jayson Stark (who picked the Rockies) talks up the Red Sox red hot offense.

Yahoo! Sports Tim Brown has a nice piece on “Big game Beckett” saying “Beckett has not just won four times in the playoffs, he’s shamed his opponents.”

CNBC’s Darren Rovell takes issue with Fox’s “shameless” moments in last night’s broadcast. Fox even manages to respond to Rovell’s “shameless” assertion.

The Yankees organization has officially appealed this announcement.

Howard Bryant throws a wet blanket on all the excitement after Game 1.

According to Matt Palmer of The Examiner in Washington, Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas had the “biggest ego inside the Raven’s locker room”.

“I enjoyed watching [Eli] play on Monday night because I got a chance to see him play live on TV, and being able to watch the game in mute. Because it’s an easier way to watch the game than hear some of those broadcasters.’’

That’s Peyton Manning’s view of the MNF crew. Those and more in Football Outsiders Week in Quotes.

Peter King made his weekly game predictions.

Dr. Z has his power rankings. Quick update on the Jets. They remained steadfast at #29. J-E-T-S, JETS!, JETS!, JETS!!!! I wonder if that season ticket holder will file lawsuits against the entire league now?

Belichick had some comments on Richard Seymour practicing.

Football Outsider’s Mike Tanier has his weekly NFL rundown.

Mike Reiss had his weekly mailbag.

Ed Berliner’s new venture, the Speeding Bullet Network is online with constantly updating video and audio sports discussions and opinions.

Tonight on TV

Boston sports fans will have a plethora of programming to choose from tonight. While Game 2 of the World Series will certainly garner a majority of the attention, one positive aspect of the ridiculous 8:30PM start times, is that you get the opportunity to watch a good portion of BC Football or the Bruins. The #2 Ranked Boston College Eagles will head down to Blacksburg, Virginia to take on #8 Virginia Tech. The game can be seen on ESPN starting at 7:30PM. Back here in Boston the Bruins will look to improve on their 5-3 record against the 5-4 Chicago Blackhawks. That game can be seen beginning at 7PM on NESN. For the rest of tonight’s matchups check here.