Rockies need Jimenez to shine

Game 1 of the 2007 World Series joined a pair of other contests as the most lopsided opener in World Series history. Rockies fans, however, should not despair and Red Sox fans should not believe it will be that easy this week. And that's because the previous two teams to win Game 1 of a World Series by 12 runs -- the 1996 Braves and 1959 White Sox -- both eventually lost the series.

ESPN, 1 a.m. ET
Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: John Kruk, Steve Phillips, Dusty Baker, Peter Gammons

Ubaldo Jimenez will try to put Game 1 out of the minds of his teammates, but he will have a tall order, going up against one of the best postseason pitchers in major-league history in Curt Schilling.

We're reminded of another phrase, one uttered by Don Buford after his leadoff home run against Tom Seaver in Game 1 of the 1969 World Series (the only leadoff homer in a Game 1 prior to Dustin Pedroia). "You ain't seen nothing yet," Buford said as he rounded the bases, only to have his team get bounced by the Mets in four straight after a Game 1 victory.

Could the Rockies pull off a similar scenario against the mighty Red Sox, who are hitting better than .400 in three straight games? For Colorado to have any hope, a big performance from Jimenez is almost an absolute necessity.

RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies
• He has a 1.59 ERA, and has a .200 opponents batting average against in two starts this postseason.
• Will be making first start against an American League team.
• Key inning: First (he allowed 12 first-inning runs in 15 regular-season starts).
RHP Curt Schilling, Red Sox
• He has a 3-1 record and a 2.11 ERA in six career World Series starts (0.99 ERA in his last five starts, four earned runs allowed in 36 1/3 innings pitched).
• He has a 30-9 career record at Fenway Park, including postseason.
• Key matchup:Todd Helton (.333 BA, five HR, 54 ABs), Yorvit Torrealba (.500 BA, 12 ABs).
• With 64 postseason RBIs, Manny Ramirez moved ahead of David Justice for second all time behind Bernie Williams (80).

• The Rockies and Red Sox had 12 combined doubles in Game 1, a World Series record for a single game.

• Carl Yastrzemski threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday's World Series opener, 40 years after he became baseball's last Triple Crown winner. About 20 members of the 1967 Red Sox team took part in the ceremony. Many of the same players got together at the home opener, when the Red Sox commemorated the 40th anniversary of the "Impossible Dream" team.

Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Dusty Baker and Steve Phillips look at the keys for the Rockies and Red Sox heading into Game 2 of the World Series.
OCT. 25
2005: Blum powers White Sox in 14th
Geoff Blum becomes one of the unlikeliest heroes in World Series history, hitting a solo home run with two outs in the top of the 14th inning to help the White Sox to a 7-5 victory over the Astros in Game 3 of the World Series. Obtained at the trade deadline in a little-noticed move, Blum hit .200 with one regular season home run for the White Sox, before homering in his only World Series at-bat.

Chris Burke '05 NLDS (Astros) Bottom 18th
Jim Leyritz '95 ALDS (Yankees) Bottom 15th
Billy Hatcher '86 NLCS (Astros) Bottom 14th
Geoff Blum '05 WS (White Sox) Top 14th
2003: Beckett is blue chip
Josh Beckett pitches a shutout in Game 6 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium, as the Marlins clinch their second World Series title with a 2-0 win over the Yankees. The Marlins took a lot of criticism for pitching Beckett on three days' rest, but he rewarded them with the kind of clutch performance he's had a history of throughout his career in the postseason.
1986: Mets pull off a miracle
Dave Henderson's 10th inning home run and Marty Barrett's RBI single give the Red Sox a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the 10th, just three outs from clinching the World Series. But after the first two Mets are retired, New York rallies for three runs, on a two-strike RBI single by Ray Knight, Bob Stanley's wild pitch and Mookie Wilson's ground ball that went through Bill Buckner's legs for an error. The Mets won 6-5 to even the series at three games apiece.


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