If that match up has a familiar ring to it, then it should. The last time Beckett pitched against the Rockies, the opposing pitcher with Francis. The stakes were slightly higher.
It was Game 1 of the 2007 World Series at Fenway Park. The Rockies had entered the World Series winning 21 of 22 games, beating the Padres in a dazzling one game playoff and sweeping the Phillies and Diamondbacks to win the National League pennant.
The fairy tale ended after a long layoff following the NLCS against Arizona. Josh Beckett started the first game of the Fall Classic. Beckett threw a complete game shutout against the Angels in the Division Series and won both ALCS starts to be named the series MVP.
He struck out the side in the first inning. Dustin Pedroia led off against Francis in the bottom of the first and homered. It did not get much better for the Rockies after that.
The Red Sox took a 3-0 lead after one. Beckett allowed a run in the top of the second, but that was as close as Colorado would get. RBI doubles by Jason Varitek and David Ortiz made it 6-1 after four and Francis and the Rockies were done. They lost Game 1, 13-1. It would never seem that close.
The Rockies actually played well in Games 2, 3 and 4, but it did not matter. Game 1 set the tone for the series. The Rockies were played by the Red Sox and their only World Series to date was a swift and not very memorable affair.
Well Beckett is back. So is Francis. And Beckett is no longer the lights out ace that we was in Boston. In fact he is pitching to regain his reputation as a solid big league pitcher.
Take advantage of the spoiler role, Colorado. Take the first step in making the Dodgers regret taking on the massive Beckett contract.
And relish getting back at him for Game One.
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