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Rockies try to forget Game 1
By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer
Published October 26, 2007
Reliever Franklin Morales, who gave up seven runs and got only two outs in Game 1, will try to wipe the night from his memory.
BOSTON - The Rockies talked a lot Thursday about the need to have a short memory.
Jay Witasick, the reliever released by the Rays, said they know what they're talking about.
The face of the Rockies' inauspicious, and downright awful, World Series debut in Wednesday's 13-1 loss, was reliever Franklin Morales, who got just two outs in the Red Sox's game-breaking fifth inning while being charged with seven runs.
That made him just the third reliever in history to give up at least seven in a Series game. And the first since Witasick, pitching for the Yankees against Arizona, allowed nine in Game 6 of the 2001 Series. Before Witasick, it hadn't happened in 90 years, when Hooks Wiltse allowed eight for the 1911 New York Giants against Philadelphia.
"You wear it," Witasick said by phone Thursday. "That's what you do. He had to wear it. He understands that, too, I'm sure. You've got to have short-term memory working."
Witasick's poor performance (10 hits, nine runs, four outs) came in a slightly different situation; the Yankees led the Series 3-2 but fell behind early in Game 6 when Andy Pettitte got knocked out in third inning . At that point, manager Joe Torre was trying to keep as many arms fresh as he could, and Witasick knew it.
"We were going to Game 7," Witasick said. "No manager wants to blow out his bullpen in that situation."
Wednesday, the Rockies were down 6-1 after four innings of the opener when they called on Morales, a 21-year-old who had been promoted in a blur, from Double A to Triple A to the majors in the second half of the season, then started in the division and championship series before being moved to the bullpen for the World Series.
Though he came out of it looking the worst, Morales was just one of several Rockies who had rough nights, from ace Jeff Francis, who lasted just four innings, to Brad Hawpe, who struck out four times.
It was the most runs allowed in a Series opener and the largest margin of victory.
"I think you always look for reasons why people don't do well," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "We've got some guys that are experiencing some things for the first time, some of them better than others so far. ... But we've got more games in front of us. The thing we've been very, very good at in our clubhouse is guys picking up one another after performances that didn't go well, and just complimenting one another and pushing things forward."
Oh, and one other thing ...
"Short-term memory is very, very important in this game," Hurdle said.