ROCKIES: Winners of 10 straight games and 21 of 22, the Rockies are headed to their first World Series after sweeping Philadelphia and Arizona in the NL playoffs. They joined the 1976 Cincinnati Reds of Big Red Machine fame as the only teams to win seven consecutive games in the postseason ... Colorado makes it six straight years that a wild-card team has advanced to the World Series ... The Rockies are the third club to reach the World Series after needing a one-game tiebreaker to get into the postseason, joining the 1948 Cleveland Indians and 1978 New York Yankees. Both of those teams won it all ... Colorado starters posted a 1.66 ERA in the NLCS ... The Rockies will have a record eight days off going into the Series. Will they be rested or rusty? ... The Rockies are the first team since the 1935 Chicago Cubs to win at least 21 of 22 after Sept. 1 ... Colorado stumbled to a 17-25 start before straightening out its season and making a late push into the playoffs. The Rockies won 14 of their final 15 regular-season games, all against division opponents — including a 9-8 victory over San Diego in a wild-card tiebreaker at Coors Field. Colorado rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 13th inning against career saves leader Trevor Hoffman. Matt Holliday hit a tying triple and scored on Jamey Carroll's shallow sacrifice fly, though it was unclear whether he actually touched home plate on his headfirst dive. The Rockies got the call — and their second trip to the postseason. They also took the wild card in 1995, the first year of baseball's expanded playoffs ... Once in the postseason, manager Clint Hurdle's team pitched extremely well against Philadelphia and Arizona ... Manny Corpas inherited the closer's role after Brian Fuentes, an All-Star, blew four straight save chances in June and then went on the DL. Fuentes returned with a vengeance, becoming a solid eighth-inning setup man ... Todd Helton was the subject of trade discussions in the offseason but Boston wouldn't part with pitching prospects Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen, so Rockies owner Charlie Monfort pulled the plug on a deal that would have sent the franchise's most accomplished player packing. Helton is in the playoffs for the first time in his 11-year career ... Holliday led the league in several important offensive categories. He's just the fifth player since 1949 to lead the league in batting average and RBIs ... The Rockies turned things around and posted a franchise-best 90 wins in their first winning season since 2000 by focusing on defense. They committed only four errors over the last 15 regular-season games.

· · · · ·

RED SOX: After ending an 86-year title drought in 2004, the Red Sox are looking for their second World Series championship in four seasons. They swept the Los Angeles Angels in the first round of the playoffs, then fell behind Cleveland 3-1 in the AL championship series before winning three straight to take the pennant. No stranger to October comebacks, Boston completed its latest one by winning Game 7 on Sunday night at Fenway Park ... Pitching has been Boston's strong point, led by Josh Beckett. He posted his first 20-win season and became the first 20-game winner in the majors since 2005 ... Beckett went 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA in the playoffs and is 5-2 with a 1.78 ERA in his postseason career — with three shutouts in eight starts. His three postseason shutouts tie Whitey Ford and Mordecai Brown for second on the career list, one behind Christy Mathewson. Beckett was the 2003 World Series MVP with Florida ... Forty-year-old Curt Schilling went 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three playoff starts. He is one of the best pressure pitchers in baseball history, going 10-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 18 postseason starts. Schilling has pitched effectively after coming off the disabled list and reinventing himself because of a loss of velocity ... Daisuke Matsuzaka finished strong in the regular season after going 1-4 with a 9.57 ERA in five starts from mid-August to mid-September. But he struggled in his first two playoff outings ... Mike Lowell posted career-highs in batting average and RBIs and picked up the slack when Manny Ramirez missed a month late in the season and J.D. Drew slumped most of the year ... The Red Sox had the best record in baseball most of the season, opening up an 11 1/2-game lead in the AL East by May 27. The Yankees cut the lead to 1 1/2 games in the last two weeks before the Red Sox won four of five to secure home-field advantage through the World Series ... Boston used its cushion to rest Ramirez (strained side muscle), Kevin Youkilis (wrist) and Hideki Okajima (tired arm) down the stretch while setting up its pitching rotation. They were all at full-strength in the playoffs ... Ramirez lost a month to injury but went 6-for-14 after returning for the final week of the regular season. Then, he was a monster at the plate in the playoffs ... David Ortiz is also having an excellent postseason ... Drew batted .393 in the last three weeks of the season. He hit a first-inning grand slam and drove in five runs to back Schilling in Game 6 of the ALCS ... Dustin Pedroia is a top contender for AL Rookie of the Year.

· · · · ·


Todd Helton, Rockies

Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox


Kaz Matsui, Rockies

Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox


Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

Julio Lugo, Red Sox


Garrett Atkins, Rockies

Mike Lowell, Red Sox


Matt Holliday, Rockies

Manny Ramirez, Red Sox


Willy Taveras, Rockies

Coco Crisp, Red Sox


Brad Hawpe, Rockies

J.D. Drew, Red Sox


Yorvit Torrealba, Rockies

Jason Varitek, Red Sox


Jeff Francis, Rockies

Josh Beckett, Red Sox


Ryan Spilborghs (.299, 11, 51)

David Ortiz (.332, 35, 117)

· · · · ·


Game 1, Today

Colorado at Boston, 6:35 p.m.

Game 2, Thursday

Colorado at Boston, 6:29 p.m.

Game 3, Saturday

Boston at Colorado, (tba)

Game 4, Sunday

Boston at Colorado, (tba)

Game 5, Oct. 29

Boston at Colorado (tba) *

Game 6, Wednesday, Oct. 31

Colorado at Boston (tba) *

Game 7, Thursday, Nov. 1

Colorado at Boston (tba) *

* if necessary

· · · · ·



CF Willy Taveras (.320, 2 HR, 24 RBIs)

2B Kaz Matsui (.288, 4, 37)

LF Matt Holliday (.340, 36, 137)

1B Todd Helton (.320, 17, 91)

3B Garrett Atkins (.301, 25, 111)

RF Brad Hawpe (.291, 29, 116)

SS Troy Tulowitzki (.291, 24, 99)

DH Ryan Spilborghs (.299, 11, 51)

C Yorvit Torrealba (.255, 8, 47)


Jeff Francis, LH (17-9, 4.22 ERA)

Ubaldo Jimenez, RH (4-4, 4.28)

Franklin Morales, LH (3-2, 3.43)

Josh Fogg, RH (10-9, 4.94) or Aaron Cook, RH (8-7, 4.12)


Manny Corpas, RH (4-2, 2.08)

Brian Fuentes, LH (3-5, 3.08)

Matt Herges, RH (5-1, 2.96)

LaTroy Hawkins, RH (2-5, 3.42)

Jeremy Affeldt, LH (4-3, 3.51)

Taylor Buchholz, RH (6-5, 4.23)

Jorge Julio, RH (0-5, 5.23)



2B Dustin Pedroia (.317, 8 HR, 50 RBIs)

1B Kevin Youkilis (.288, 16, 83)

DH David Ortiz (.332, 35, 117)

LF Manny Ramirez (.296, 20, 88)

3B Mike Lowell (.324, 21, 120)

RF J.D. Drew (.270, 11, 64)

C Jason Varitek (.255, 17, 68)

CF Coco Crisp (.268, 6, 60)

SS Julio Lugo (.237, 8, 73)


Josh Beckett, RH (20-7, 3.27 ERA)

Curt Schilling, RH (9-8, 3.87)

Daisuke Matsuzaka, RH (15-12, 4.40)


Jonathan Papelbon, RH (1-3, 1.85 ERA)

Hideki Okajima, LH (3-2, 2.22)

Eric Gagne, RH (4-2, 3.81)

Manny Delcarmen, RH (0-0, 2.05)

Jon Lester, LH (4-0, 4.57)

Javier Lopez, LH (2-1, 3.10)

Mike Timlin, RH (2-1, 3.42)