When the embarrassment was over, the Colorado Rockies insisted they were still a good team and would bounce back from their dismal World Series debut.
"I'm sure there's a lot of people that are ready to hand them the trophy right now," third baseman Garrett Atkins said after the Boston Red Sox routed the Rockies 13-1 Wednesday night, handing Colorado its first road loss in an astonishing 41 days.
The wild-card Rockies reached the playoffs by winning 14 of 15, and once there they rolled over Philadelphia and Arizona with such ease that they earned an eight-day layoff that proved ever so costly at Fenway Park.
From the get-go, the Red Sox romped.
"It's not like they broke our hearts tonight," Atkins said. "It's not like we were up by five and blew it. It was their game from the start. It was just one of those games where we couldn't get anything going. We were probably thinking about tomorrow probably halfway through the game, when it was 13-1. We're ready to go for tomorrow."
The NL champions lost just once in 38 days before running into Boston's buzz saw.
"They put a good old-fashioned beating on us tonight," Todd Helton said. "We just go out and regroup tomorrow. It's what we've done all year."
In Game 1, it was the Red Sox and not the Rockies who looked like they had won 21 of 22.
Now all the talk in the rattled Rockies' clubhouse was about rebounding in Game 2 when rookie right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez faces wily World Series veteran Curt Schilling.
"It's a big loss, Game 1 of the World Series," Helton said. "But knowing the heart of this team, we'll come back tomorrow."
The Rockies haven't lost consecutive games away from Coors Field since Aug. 27-28 at San Francisco.
"We've been beat bad before," Atkins said. "Obviously, not in the World Series. A lot of the guys got those jitters out of the way and a lot of guys learned some things. Hopefully that'll help them along as the series goes."
The last time they lost, to Arizona on Sept. 28, the Rockies responded by winning 10 straight.
But it's apparent the Rockies were too good -- or too rested -- for their own good.
After taking four straight from the Diamondbacks, the Rockies had to wait around eight days before facing the Red Sox, who needed seven games to eliminate Cleveland in the AL championship series and got just two days off.
"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."
Nothing went right for the Rockies.
Jeff Francis watched his second pitch sail over the Green Monster. While Francis was getting shelled, the Rockies' lineup looked hopeless against Josh Beckett, who scattered six harmless hits over seven spectacular innings.
Francis was even rustier than the Rockies' rickety lineup, allowing 10 hits, the most he's yielded since July 23 against San Diego. The first batter he faced, Dustin Pedroia, sent the lefty's second pitch over the wall in left and the rout was on.
By the time the first inning ended Francis had surrendered three runs and five hits, three of which went for extra bases. He gave up another run in the second and two more in the fourth.
In four painful innings, Francis allowed six earned runs in his worst start in 21/2 months.
The team that couldn't lose suddenly couldn't do anything right.
Rookie Franklin Morales gave up seven runs and six hits in two-thirds of an inning. He also committed the first balk in a World Series game in 11 years. Ryan Speier relieved Morales with the bases loaded and two outs and walked all three batters he faced.
This isn't the beginning of the end for Colorado, Francis said.
"I'm not worried about any imprint," he said. "I know this loss isn't going to bother us as much as a lot of people think it will."