Posted at 3:58 PM on October 12, 2007
by Chris Dall
After waiting what seemed like an eternity, I sat down to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks square off against the Colorado Rockies in game 1 of the NLCS. Here's what I learned, other than the fact that Colorado won the game 5-1:
I just can't get excited by this series. Yes, the Rockies are a great story because of the way they finished the season, and the D-Backs are a really young team that no one expected to be here, but there's just not a lot of meat here. No storied traditions, no fierce rivalry, no championship-starved fan base. Just two young, relatively faceless franchises.
Maybe the Rockies are just really good. I thought the extra time that teams have this year might work against Colorado, given how hot they've been. When you're on a roll like they're on, a 5-day layoff might give you too much time to wonder how long you can keep it going. But they simply took it to Arizona last night, getting more solid pitching from Jeff Francis and a bevy of relievers and just enough offense against the D-Backs best pitcher, Brandon Webb.
How did the D-Backs win 90 games? Granted, I haven't watched them enough to make this type of statement, but who scares you in their lineup? I know pitching is what helps you advance in October, but I just don't see them being able to score enough runs to beat the Rockies.
Arizona fans are lame. You can hear a pin drop in their ballpark for 6 innings, and then there's nearly a riot after a correct interference call on Arizona's Justin Upton. I can understand a little booing, but throwing water bottles on the field? What, didn't anyone in the stands have any AA batteries available?
Maybe you don't need your superstars in the playoffs. Colorado's big guns are Matt Holiday, Troy Tulowitzki, and Todd Helton, but they hit .231, .167, and .083 respectively in the NLDS victory over the Phillies. Who was the real star of that series? Kaz Matsui, who hit .417 with 2 triples, 1 home run, and 6 RBI and drove in another run last night. Yes, superstars need to carry their weight in October, but you also need big contributions from unexpected sources.