A World Series hero set the tone on the mound while a World Series rookie started the merry-go-round for the Boston Red Sox offense in game one of the Fall Classic Wednesday night.
Josh Beckett began yet another masterful performance by striking out the side in the top of the first and Dustin Pedroia homered on Jeff Francis’ second pitch as the Sox crushed the Colorado Rockies 13-1.
The win was the fourth of these playoffs for Beckett, who seems to draw comparisons to a different legend with every postseason start. This time it was Sandy Koufax, the last pitcher to strikeout four straight hitters to open the Series.
The ALCS MVP ended up fanning nine and lowering his career playoff ERA to 1.73.
Not that he need to be that dominant last night.
Pedroia, the frontrunner for the AL Rookie of the Year award, hit his second homerun of the playoffs and drove in two runs for the Red Sox, whose 17 hits and eight doubles were more than enough.
The second baseman’s first trip to the playoffs has been memorable to say the least. He delivered clutch hits in the ALCS and became only the second player ever to lead a World Series off with a homerun.
The Red Sox message was clear: We are the best team in baseball.
And they’re three wins away from proving it.