- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WHO HAS THE EDGE?

CATCHER

Rockies: Career backup Yorvit Torrealba finally got a chance to play every day this season. He’s in the lineup more for his glove than his bat, but he did come through with a big home run in Game 3 of the NLCS.

Red Sox: There’s a reason Jason Varitek was anointed Boston’s captain. “Tek” makes the Red Sox run. Pitchers rave about his game-calling ability, and he’s hardly a slouch at the plate. One of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

Edge: Red Sox

FIRST BASE

Rockies: Todd Helton is a veteran who has finally made the World Series with the only franchise he has played for. He’s not an elite power hitter anymore, but he has never hit less than .300 in a full season and remains the team’s leader.

Red Sox: Kevin Youkilis will be in the lineup for Games 1 and 2 (and 6 and 7 if necessary), but the real question is: Who plays there for Games 3, 4 and 5 in Denver? With no DH in NL parks, Terry Francona may have no choice but to play David Ortiz in the field. Still, not a bad problem to have.

Edge: Even at Fenway, Red Sox at Coors

SECOND BASE

Rockies: A bust with the Mets, Kaz Matsui has enjoyed a career renaissance in Colorado. The speedy second baseman filled in admirably atop the lineup when Willy Taveras was hurt and has filled in nicely in the 2-hole since.

Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia is a rookie, but he sure doesn’t play like it. The 24-year-old showed patience at the plate (with a .380 OBP) and hit .345 in the ALCS.

Edge: Red Sox

THIRD BASE

Rockies: Garrett Atkins is one of the better young hitters in the game. Matt Holliday received all the attention this season, but Atkins hit .300-25-110 for the second straight season. Not great in the field, though.

Story Continues →