By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
OCT. 18, 2002
WORLD SERIES GAME 1
GIANTS AT ANGELS
ANAHEIM -- There's more to the San Francisco Giants than Barry Bonds after all.
Bonds was the center of attention all week long as the Angels and Giants prepared for the World Series, and rightly so. But many Angels warned that though the Giants' journey here was powered by Bonds, there were others that steered them to the National League pennant.
Bonds did his usual number with a home run in his first at-bat, but it was Reggie Sanders and J.T. Snow who made the difference in the Giants' 4-3 win in Game 1 before 44,603 at Edison Field.
``Every day we have a couple guys in the lineup that seem to match up with whoever they put on the mound to face us,'' Giants manager Dusty Baker said. ``It's been a team effort. We've had a number of guys come through up and down our lineup. Like J.T. says, the sign of a good team is when you really don't know who's going to hurt you from day to day.''
Sanders hit a solo homer in the second inning shortly after Bonds hit his to put the Giants in front, 2-0. But just as big was Sanders' two-out single in the sixth. Snow followed with a two-run homer to give the Giants a 4-1 lead which was enough on a night the Angels offense failed to come up with the big hit.
``I said all along there are other guys on that team that got 'em here,'' said Angels starter Jarrod Washburn, who yielded all three Giant homers. ``Barry's big but he's not all of it.''
The Angels out-hit the Giants, 9-6, but failed to come up with the clutch hit. Troy Glaus hit two home runs off Giants starter Jason Schmidt, but the Angels went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
Twice the Angels had a runner on third base with one out and failed to get him home. Darin Erstad struck out with Adam Kennedy on third in the third inning.
In the fifth, the Angels had runners on first and third with one out when Tim Salmon hit a foul popup near the first-base dugout. Snow slipped on the rubberized warning track and landed flat on his back, but he got up in time to make the catch and the Angels didn't score in the inning.
``I don't think I've ever made a play like that, where I fell down and got back up,'' said Snow, who was traded by the Angels to the Giants after the 1996 season. ``It was a good thing I fell on my backside because I was able to keep looking at the ball. I called it the whole way, and kept calling it when I was laying down. Luckily, the net was there. I grabbed onto the net and pulled myself up.''
The Angels credited Schmidt for making good pitches in key situations, but that doesn't mean they were happy about it.
``We had two situations with runners on third base and didn't get the job done,'' Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said. ``I know those two guys (Erstad and Salmon) who had the opportunities are not very happy about it right now. They're going to come out and be pissed off. You better watch out.''
Schmidt got the victory after going 5 2/3 innings and giving up all three Angel runs and all nine of their hits. Felix Rodriguez, Tim Worrell and Robb Nen (save) combined to hold the Angels hitless over the final 3 1/3 innings.
Bonds, though, got it all started. In his first career World Series at-bat, he hit a 2-1 pitch from Washburn over the fence in right field, bringing a groan from the crowd and a smile from Washburn.
``What are you going to do?'' said Washburn, who gave up four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. ``I made a mistake and he hit a home run. I had to chuckle. I said to myself, `Yeah, he IS good.' ''
The loss was the Angels' first at home in the postseason, as they fell to 5-1 at Edison Field. But a loss in Game 1 is nothing new. They lost the openers in the series against both the Yankees and Twins.
``I'm not going to say we have them right where we want them, but we've been here before,'' Angels designated hitter Brad Fullmer said. ``So we're not going to panic. We're not overly concerned. Certainly you don't want to lose the first game, but we've shown we can bounce back.''
The home runs by Bonds and Sanders gave the Giants a 2-0 lead, but Glaus cut it to 2-1 with his first home run of the game in the bottom of the second. The Angels, however, missed numerous opportunities to tie or go ahead.
Later in the second inning, Fullmer singled and stole second, but was stranded. Adam Kennedy led off the bottom of the third with a double and went third on David Eckstein's groundout to second. But Kennedy was stuck at third as Erstad struck out and Salmon flied out.
In the fourth inning, Garret Anderson singled to lead off the inning and two outs later went to third on a double by Scott Spiezio. But the inning ended when Bengie Molina grounded out.
In the fifth, Eckstein singled and went to third on Erstad's single with one out. But Salmon fouled out to the first baseman Snow and Anderson struck out.
The Giants added to their lead and knocked Washburn out of the game all at the same time in the sixth. Washburn got the first two outs of the inning before giving up a single to Sanders and a two-run homer to Snow on a 3-1 pitch that gave the Giants a 4-1 lead.
Glaus hit his second homer of the night leading off the bottom of the sixth and Fullmer followed with a walk. Two outs later, Fullmer was on second when Kennedy got the Angels' first hit of the night with a runner in scoring position, driving in Fullmer with a single to right to cut the Giants lead to 4-3.
``We saw some positive things tonight, it's just the score wasn't where we want it to be,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``If we play with that aggressiveness offensively, I think our offense will be where we want it to be.''
ANAHEIM -- Chuck Finley, the winningest pitcher in Angels history, finally made it to a World Series. Not as a pitcher, but as a catcher.
Finley caught the ceremonial first pitch thrown before Game 1 Saturday by Jackie Autry, wife of original Angels owner Gene Autry.
``I had to drive my own truck in here and borrow a ticket from Jackie,'' Finley said. ``That's how I got to the World Series.''
Finley left the Angels as a free agent after the 1999 season to sign with the Indians. He was traded to the Cardinals during this season and went to the National League Championship Series where the Cardinals lost to the Giants, missing out on playing against the Angels in the World Series.
``It would have been a great storybook ending,'' Finley said. ``Probably would have given me closure of not only leaving Anaheim, but 17 years of baseball, just coming back to the place you started and loved.''
Finley's time with the Angels ended after their miserable 1999 season in which manager Terry Collins and general manager Bill Bavasi lost their jobs. New general manager Bill Stoneman had just been hired and determined that Finley, 37 at the time, wasn't worth the money Finley would command. Finley wound up getting $27 million over three years with the Indians.
``When I left the Angels I thought I had to go to a team that was absolutely, positively going to be a strong contender for a World Series,'' Finley said. ``I wasn't going to leave the team for somebody that might make a run at .500 or the wild card. I had to go with a team that I knew was going to be there for a couple years and be in place because I didn't want to leave here.''
Jim Edmonds, a teammate of Finley's with the Angels and this season with the Cardinals, watched Saturday's game from the Diamond Club seats behind homeplate. He sat with Angels' third baseman Troy Glaus' girlfriend and cheered along with the other fans when Glaus hit a home run in the second inning.
Bavasi and former Angels scouting director Bob Fontaine also attended Saturday's game, being given tickets by Stoneman.
Angels Game 2 starter Kevin Appier is winless in his past seven starts, which includes his three postseason starts. Though Appier is winless in the postseason, the Angels won two of his three starts.
``He's kept us in ballgames,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``We have confidence he can go out there and make his pitches. If he can, then he's going to give us an opportunity to win the ballgame. That's really all you're looking for when you come down to the last series. You want your starter to stay in the game, give you an opportunity to win and hopefully you're going to be able to do the things you need to do offensively to score the runs to win.''
The Giants will start Russ Ortiz, who is 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA in three postseason starts. He has seen what the Angels offense has done throughout the playoffs.
``I think the biggest thing about this team is you can't let up when you get to the bottom of the lineup,'' Ortiz said. ``As soon as you roll over the lineup, that's when you get into their power guys and they can do so much more with that. So you just have to keep guys off base.''
Giants manager Dusty Baker said Stoneman was the only pitcher to strike him out four times in a game.
``I don't remember it, but he mentions it every time I see him,'' Stoneman said. ``The only time I remember facing Dusty came in Montreal.''
Stoneman said he retired Baker and Hank Aaron on fly balls to the fence in left field to end the game in a 2-1 victory.
``They both absolutely crushed those balls,'' Stoneman said. ``But the wind held them in.''
Angels pitcher Aaron Sele had surgery Friday to repair the supraspinatus muscle and labrum in his right rotator cuff.
Sele missed six weeks with the injury but pitched in the final game of the regular season. But recently Sele has irritation and inflammation in the shoulder, resulting in the surgery. Sele can begin rehabilitation in two weeks and is expected to be ready for spring training.
Sele went 8-9 with a 4.89 ERA this season, the first of a three-year, $24 million deal.
Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy hit the first pitch he saw in his first at-bat Saturday off the right-field fence for a double. With last Sunday's 4 for 4 performance that included three home runs in the Game 5 ALCS clincher, Kennedy had hits in five consecutive at-bats.
In his second at-bat Saturday, Kennedy struck out.
Sign of the day at Edison Field: ``Hey Mo, is that couch comfy?'' ... The two home runs hit by the Angels in Game 1 gave them 19 in this postseason, tying a record set by the 1995 Atlanta Braves. ... The Giants' Barry Bonds and the Angels' Troy Glaus became the 26th and 27th players, respectively, to hit a home run in their first World Series at-bat. ... Celebrities at Saturday's game in included actors Danny DeVito, Tim Allen, David Hasselhof, Bonnie Hunt, Eric Roberts, Sylvester Stallone and John Travolta, and figure skater Michelle Kwan.