By Peter Schiller
Baseball’s mantra: pitching and defense win ball games. But, when pitching and defense are an even match-up, base running will determine the final score. It certainly did in Game 2, which was a completely different game when compared with Game 1’s blow out. Colorado’s first batter of the game, Taveras, would score the Rockies one and only run. Boston would get 1 run in the 4th and 1 in the 5th. That was it!
Both Colorado and Boston got their first runs thanks to excellent, aggressive base running by Taveras and Lowell, respectively. (Incidentally, the only reason Taveras was on base and able to score was because Schilling, in an attempt to back him off of the plate, grazed Taveras’ hand on a 1-2 count). Credit to Taveras, for taking advantage of the base running opportunity.
The difference maker would turn out to be Mike Lowell’s RBI hit in the 5th which had nothing to do with base running, just a good solid hit to score the ailing David Ortiz from second. (This winning run was another 2-out run; Boston’s 12th so far this series).
Back to the base running point: Colorado got the go ahead run to the plate against Jonathon Papelbon with 2 outs in the top of the 8th inning. Just as Helton was thinking about a game-winning 2-run homer, Pap picked off Holliday to end the inning before Helton even got to see a pitch. What a rally killing play! Holliday will be thinking on that blunder until Saturday night. . .
Enjoy Friday night off, baseball fans, now go get some sleep. . .