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Opening rout may not carry to Game 2

Opening rout may not carry to Game 2

BOSTON -- The Red Sox shouldn't be too overconfident, and the Rockies shouldn't be too frantic.

For the history of opening-game blowouts doesn't necessarily mean that the winner will go on to take the World Series. Despite a 13-1 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday night, the Rockies may be just as likely to win Game 2 on Thursday to even the best-of-seven series.

They'll have rookie Ubaldo Jimenez back at the Fens against veteran Curt Schilling in a battle of right-handers.

"One of the strengths this club has had throughout the season is our confidence, and it hasn't been shaken by the results of this game," said Rockies manager Clint Hurdle after his club suffered the most lopsided Game 1 loss in World Series history. "Really, it's a series of games. That being said, this is not the way we drew it up. But I feel real confident we'll get back out there and get after it tomorrow."

That being said, three of the four teams that lost the most lopsided first games were able to win the Series. The Dodgers lost, 11-0, to the White Sox in 1959 and went on to win in six games. The Brewers knocked out the Cardinals, 10-0, in 1982 and lost the series in seven. And the 1996 Yankees -- who lost Game 1, 12-1, to the Braves -- lost Game 2 (also at Yankee Stadium), but came back to win the next four and the series in six games.

Only the 1987 Twins, who clubbed the Cardinals, 10-1, in Game 1, went on to win the series in seven games.

The Red Sox certainly aren't taking anything for granted.

"Well, we definitely have a lot of confidence going into tomorrow, and you're always excited to come back to the ballpark," said Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who continued his torrid postseason by smacking two of his team's record-tying eight doubles in Game 1. "But those guys are definitely going to just wash it away, because a loss is a loss and a win is a win. You've got to move on to the next day, because this is the best of seven. It doesn't matter what you do in the first game."

Throughout World Series history, Game 1 winners have gone on to win the series 62 times, or 60.8 percent of the time. But during the last decade, that pattern has shifted. Game 1 winners have taken the title nine times of the last 10 times, with the lone exception being the Angels, who lost Game 1 of the 2002 World Series to the Giants but came back from a 3-2 deficit to win the Fall Classic.

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In the American League Championship Series, the Red Sox fell behind the Yankees, 3-0, in 2004 and the Indians, 3-1, most recently this postseason before winning each series in seven games. Boston, by the way, whacked Cleveland, 10-3 in Game 1 before losing the next three games.

Both times, the Red Sox read their own obits before dancing on their collective graves. This time, they best ignore all the hype that the current series may be over because they stomped all over the Rox.

"I don't think I paid much attention before and probably won't now," Boston manager Terry Francona said about all the hype. "We're smart enough to know tomorrow's game is what's ahead of us and that's all that matters. That's the case every time you play. That'll never change."

"This is a tough series and a tough team, and there's a reason why they're here," Youkilis added. "For us, we're going to have to come out and try to win the first inning again and then the second after that."

It's the first time through all of this for the Rockies, whose run of 21 wins in 22 games came to a screeching halt. The Rox hadn't lost on the road since a 12-4 drubbing in Philadelphia on Sept. 13, putting together a stretch of 10 victories in a row that included sweeps over the Phillies in the National League Division Series and over the Diamondbacks in the NLCS.

There was all the talk about shaking off the dust of their eight-day layoff before the start of the World Series, but that's all behind the Rockies now.

It's time to put up or shut up.

"That's what we intend to do," Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba said. "This was only one game. We've got to come back tomorrow, and hopefully, we'll win a game and tie the series. We've got this out of the way, that first game. Everybody was worried about the eight-day layoff -- well, that's over with."

But as history has proven, perhaps the series isn't.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["world_series" ] }
{"content":["world_series" ] }