Ah, the Coors Field factor.
Though it’s certainly not the same as it once was — humidors and such — the games played at Coors Field might have a distinctive offensive flair to them, which won’t be news to the Rockies, for one. That’s why manager Clint Hurdle was considering switching up his Game 3 roster yesterday, in light of his team’s offensive shutdown in the first two games of the series: two runs and 11 hits in two games at Fenway Park, including none by leadoff man Willy Taveras. Not exactly the production he was seeking.
But the Red Sox will have their offense affected as well by the change in venues. No Kevin Youkilis in Game 3, his seat on the bench opening up first base for David Ortiz. That’s one of the team’s hottest hitters in the dugout.
So this won’t be easy for the Red Sox. Sure, the team looked good in picking up two quick wins in the first two games of the World Series, maintaining their home field advantage over the Rockies. But this is a slightly different brand of baseball. As one member of the Red Sox, a National League veteran, said before he knew the Sox would be heading to Denver for the World Series, Coors Field is the one stadium in the major leagues in which the venue becomes a real player.
Simply put, as much preparation as teams can have, it’s just different here. From the dehydration factor to the curveball factor (the break changes in altitude) to the cavernous outfield, this is now Rockies baseball.
Can the Red Sox win here? Of course. But things change now, as Game 3 (and Coors Field) approach.