Notes: Atkins eyes turnaround
Third baseman hopes slump ends with Championship Series
BOSTON -- Garrett Atkins revels in being a quiet force in the Rockies lineup. But with a .185 postseason average, he feels he's been more quiet than forceful lately.
Atkins, the Rockies' third baseman and No. 5 hitter, would rather speak loudly with his bat during the World Series.
"Definitely, you've got to think like that as a hitter," Atkins said at Fenway Park on Tuesday as the Rockies prepared for Wednesday's Game 1 against the Red Sox. "There are a few guys in here that haven't been swinging the bat as well as we'd like to. Things are going to change -- that's the way we're looking at it. And things need to change for us to win the World Series."
The saving grace for Atkins is that he is 2-for-3 with two walks (one intentional) with runners in scoring position during the postseason. "I've put together a few good at-bats, just not as many as I'd like," he said.
Atkins can draw on his strong performance at Fenway Park during an Interleague series from June 12-14, when the Rockies won two of three from the Sox.
Atkins arrived with a .236 batting average but went 4-for-12 with a home run and two doubles against Sox pitchers. It was the start of a turnaround for Atkins, who finished the regular season at .301 with 25 home runs and 111 RBIs.
No DH decision yet: In his media session prior to the workout at Fenway Park, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle dodged a question about who would be his designated hitter in Game 1. The DH will be used in Fenway for Games 1 and 2 and, if necessary, 6 and 7.
There are limits: Rockies right-hander Josh Fogg, who will start Game 3 at Coors Field on Saturday night, was born in Lynn, Mass., but his family moved to southern Florida when he was 2 weeks old. Still, Fogg's father was a Red Sox fan, so that was the first team he liked. Fogg grew to appreciate the fanaticism.
However, he knows there are limits. He was asked if the Rockies were being recognized on the streets of Boston.
"I can walk down the street in Denver, and nobody knows who I am," Fogg said. "How are they going to know who I am in Boston?"
First baseman Todd Helton was asked whether, since the Rockies are the upstarts from a much smaller market, America is rooting for them.
"I haven't talked to America," Helton said. "I know my mom and dad are."
Amongst the stars: Rockies Game 2 starter Ubaldo Jimenez, a rookie called up in August, is from the Dominican Republic, as is Red Sox star David Ortiz.
Jimenez said he has seen Ortiz in public many times during the offseason but never felt he had the clout to approach him.
"We don't do that in the Dominican -- guys like him are really big stars, and you want to give them their privacy," Jimenez said.
Thursday night is Jimenez's chance to be among the stars.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.