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Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Layoff hurt Rockies

Helton admits, ‘We were a little rusty’

October 25, 2007

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— Will anyone remember that the Colorado Rockies got here by winning 21 of 22?

That fabulous streak skidded to a halt Wednesday night in Colorado's 13-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox, who piled on more runs than any team in a World Series opener.

The eight-day layoff the Rockies earned by sweeping the Diamondbacks in the NL championship series proved costly at Fenway Park.

They looked ragged, not rested.

They went from wild-card wannabes to formidable NL champions, losing just once in 38 days before running into Boston's buzz saw.

"We were a little rusty, I think," first baseman Todd Helton said. "We didn't play that well. But they played really good. You've got to tip the cap. They put a good old-fashioned beating on us tonight."

So, now what?

"We just go out and regroup tomorrow," Helton said. "It's what we've done all year."

Jeff Francis watched his second pitch sail over the Green Monster. While Francis was getting shelled, the Rockies' lineup looked hopeless against Josh Beckett.

"You can ask me all series long about the eight-day layoff and I'm not going to be able to give you an answer on that," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We're a no-excuse ball club, always have been and we're going to be. We got outplayed tonight."

The last time Francis and his teammates had been beaten was Sept. 28, a span of 26 days.

They looked like they hadn't played in that long.

"You can come up with any number of reasons why that happened. But we're not here to make excuses. The bottom line is we just didn't get it done," Francis said. "I felt good, I felt smooth, I felt strong. Just leaving balls up. That's not a lineup that you want to make a lot of mistakes to."

Francis was even rustier than the Rockies' rickety lineup, allowing 10 hits, the most he has yielded since July 23 against San Diego.

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