By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
OCT. 21, 2002
WORLD SERIES GAME 3
ANGELS AT GIANTS
SAN FRANCISCO -- Just wait, Giants manager Dusty Baker seemed to say, until the Giants got the Angels in their own ballpark, with National League rules and that cold bay breeze.
The Angels, though, could not have looked more at home in a 10-4 victory in Game 3 of the World Series before 42,707 at Pacific Bell Park, taking a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven series.
Baker promised that baseballs would not fly out of the park like they did in Anaheim in Game 2 when the Angels outscored the Giants, 11-10, and the two teams combined for six home runs. And he was right -- the Angels did not hit a home run.
But they had 12 singles, three doubles and a triple, wearing down the Giants pitching staff by putting pressure on them in nearly every inning. The Angels had at least one baserunner in every inning but the first.
Nine different Angels had at least one hit, including three by Darin Erstad. Seven different Angels had at least one RBI, including Scott Spiezio, who had three.
``Everybody wants to be an analyst, but nothing has affected this team all year,'' Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said. ``It didn't bother them playing in New York, and it didn't bother them playing in Minnesota. I can't explain what's going on. We (coaches) just watch and let 'em go.''
The Angels batted around in the third and fourth innings, becoming the first World Series team to do it in back-to-back innings. They scored four runs in each, giving starting pitcher Ramon Ortiz, often a jittery sort, a chance to settle down.
``They were hitting; they've been hitting the last two games,'' Baker said. ``I don't know ... hopefully they hit themselves out, I hope.
``If you walk somebody, most of them have good speed and that allows (Angels manager Mike) Scioscia to do some things. Most of the guys over there are contact hitters. You don't strike them out very much.''
With more than enough offense to work with, Ortiz simply needed to throw strikes and get as deep into the game as he could. He gave up home runs to Rich Aurilia and Barry Bonds in the fifth inning, but that was to be expected. Ortiz gave up more homers (40) than any pitcher in the majors this year.
``He had trouble with his rhythm,'' Angels catcher Bengie Molina said. ``I think his wrist was hurting him. His fastball went from 95 (mph) to 88. I just tried to get him through five innings and let the bullpen take over.''
Ortiz did get through five, handing an 8-4 lead over the bullpen, and the Giants didn't score again. Brendan Donnelly and Scott Schoeneweis each threw two scoreless innings.
The Giants took an early lead when they cashed in on a leadoff walk by Kenny Lofton in the first inning. Molina nearly threw out Lofton twice -- once on a pickoff attempt at first and again when Lofton stole second.
With Lofton on second and one out, Jeff Kent singled off Ortiz's glove, putting runners on first and third for Bonds. But the Angels walked Bonds to load the bases for Benito Santiago, setting up a potential double play.
Santiago hit a grounder to second, but it was hit too slowly and the Angels' only play was at first, allowing Lofton to score for a 1-0 Giants lead.
The Angels took the lead in the third, the key hit being Spiezio's two-run triple. On the pitch to Spiezio, Troy Glaus broke from second and was fooled by shortstop Rich Aurilia into thinking there was a play at second.
Glaus slid head-first into second, but got up and still was able to score on the play. By the time the inning was finished, the Angels had a 4-1 lead.
The Angels knocked Giants starter Livan Hernandez (3 2/3 innings, 6 runs, 5 hits) out of the game in the fourth. With one out, Erstad singled and Tim Salmon walked before they pulled off a double steal without drawing a throw.
Garret Anderson drove in one run with a groundout, but the Angels added three more runs in the inning with three two-out, RBI singles -- one each by Spiezio, Adam Kennedy and Molina.
``The idea is to keep pressing, to keep pouring it on as much as you can,'' Erstad said. ``Regardless of the score, you can't lay back. It's like playing prevent-defense in football. It's not a good thing to do.
``So, if anything, we probably up our intensity a little bit (with a lead). Killer instinct? I guess you can call it that.''
The Giants cut into the Angels' lead with a solo homer by Aurilia and Bonds' two-run blast in the fifth. For Bonds, it was his seventh homer of the postseason, the most by one player in a single postseason in major league history.
Bonds also has homered in each of the first three World Series games, accomplished only once before in World Series history, by the Yankees' Hank Bauer in 1958.
``Yeah, Barry is doing his thing,'' Baker said. ``He doesn't surprise us because we've been watching him for a long time. Hopefully we can get some other guys in on the hit parade.''
SAN FRANCISCO -- John Lackey will celebrate his 24th birthday tonight by taking the mound as the Angels' Game 4 starting pitcher, but it won't be his World Series debut. He threw 2 1/3 innings of relief in Game 2 on Sunday in Anaheim.
``I'll be fine,'' said Lackey, who went a combined 17-6 this season at Triple-A Salt Lake and with the Angels. ``I usually throw two times in between starts on the side anyway. I actually only threw about 30 pitches (32), and I usually throw 40 to 45 on the side. So I probably threw less.''
Despite his youth, Lackey has been unaffected by pressure situations, starting when he made his major league debut in his home state of Texas, to his seven shutout innings against the Twins in the ALCS.
``I think what's allowed him to be successful at such a young age is his makeup,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``Whatever start he's taken in our organization, whatever level it's been, he showed the same great makeup on the mound, his ability to get over rough spots in a game, his ability to brush off a tough inning and come back and make pitches.''
Lackey said his poise comes from plenty of experience in big games growing up, including playing high school football in Texas.
``I'm not going to promise performance every time out, but I don't think there's going to be any situation where I'm going to be intimidated or scared or anything,'' Lackey said. ``I'm going to go out there and do what's gotten me to this point.''
The temperature at Pac Bell Park for the first pitch was 57 degrees, and it got colder as the night went on. Every Angel starter wore long sleeves under his uniform jersey except third baseman Troy Glaus, who doesn't like the restrictive feel of sleeves.
Scioscia, who said Candlestick Park was the coldest place he'd ever played, said he didn't expect his players to be affected by the weather.
``We've played in cold weather before, we've played in Chicago and Detroit this year maybe when the weather was not really conducive for some of the things you like to see on a baseball field.''
Angels catcher Bengie Molina is in the lineup because of his defense, not his offense. He readily admits he is the weak link in the offense, but in Game 3 Tuesday, Molina reached base five times -- three walks (two intentional) and two singles.
``I haven't been hitting all year,'' Molina said. ``I just wanted to be a part of it and contribute. Finally. It feels good.''
When Angels right fielder Tim Salmon struck out in the first inning of Game 3 on Tuesday, it ended a streak of 43 consecutive plate appearances by Angels hitters without a strikeout.
No Angel struck out in Game 2, a feat that had not been accomplished by a World Series team since 1960, when both the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates went without a strikeout in Game 7.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia was named AL manager of the year by The Sporting News, an award voted on by AL managers. Scioscia and A's manager Art Howe each received six votes; Yankees manager Joe Torre got one and Orioles manager Mike Hargrove got one. The tie between Scoiscia and Howe was broken after the magazine polled AL executives.
Scioscia moved Adam Kennedy up to the No. 7 spot in the batting order for Game 3, ahead of catcher Bengie Molina, who batted eighth. Scioscia said the move was made because Kennedy would provide better protection for Nos. 5 and 6 hitters, Troy Glaus and Scott Spiezio. ... Because the Giants are starting Rueter, a left-handed pitcher, Benji Gil will start at second base in place of Kennedy in Game 4.