|Giants at Angels, Game 1|
By Dinn Mann
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The Golden State Series is on deck. The last one of these that pitted Northern California against Southern California, in 1988, brought us the inimitable Kirk Gibson home run in Game 1. So get ready, World, for touches of Hollywood and Vine(yards). In other words, vintage stuff. On the one hand we have a Mickey Mouse club that gets late-inning inspiration from an ape, and the powers that be at Disney apparently are fine with the rally monkey going by a name other than King Louie, a funky favorite character from "The Jungle Book." Synergy, schminergy. Besides, it would have to be Queen Louise, because the rally monkey is a girl: Katie. On the other hand we have a team from a land of peace and love that has two stars -- Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent -- that got into a much-publicized shoving match during a game earlier this season.
David Eckstein leads off against Jason Schmidt. The Anaheim shortstop quickly falls behind, 0 and 2, then flies out (something between a fly and a drive) to left. Schmidt is working quickly. Darin Erstad pops out to shallow left, where Barry Bonds makes his second putout of the game. It should be noted that no player in World Series history has ever made every putout unassisted in a single game. Should that have been noted? No. Schmidt makes it look easy, striking out Tim Salmon on three pitches. Six up, six down. The four days off since the last game are having at least a tiny impact, it seems. Giants 0, Angels 0
You don't fall behind 2 and 1 to Barry Bonds, then throw him something supremely hittable. Jarrod Washburn makes that mistake, and Bonds destroys the delivery, sending a majestic Matterhorn smash way beyond the wall in right. In the lefty-to-lefty confrontation, chalk the first one up to BB king. Washburn shrugged afterward, dazed and amused at the newest Disney ride, courtesy of Mr. Bonds. The score: 1-0 Giants. Benito Santiago grounds out to third. Right-hander Reggie Sanders steps up to the plate after Santiago's out. Quickly, he makes like Bonds, bashing a homer to right center, on a meaty 1-0 pitch. The ex-Diamondback Sanders is one of only two players on either roster who played in the 2001 World Series, Giants reliever Jay Witasick being the other one. Now, it's J.T. Snow's turn. The former Angel, Snow, fouls off a 2-2 pitch, then grounds out to second on the next one. One out, but two runs in. David Bell enters the batter's box. He belts a shot to third, but it turns out to be a loud groundout. Three away. Giants 2, Angels 0
Sanders' solo shot
Adam Kennedy, who hit three home runs in the pennant-clinching game for the Angels -- and a grand total of seven in the regular season -- drives a near-HR to right, getting an off-the-wall, stand-up double. David Eckstein takes on Jason Schmidt next. The count goes to 0 and 2, then 1 and 2 on a way-high fastball. Eckstein proceeds to produce an important feeble grounder, bounding a runner-advancing roller to second. One out on the throw to retire Eckstein. Kennedy, more important, stands on third with one down. Good FOX stat: 63 percent of Anaheim runners on third with fewer than two outs scored, a Major League-leading figure. Schmidt gets a huge strike, seemingly, on 1-1, for a 1-2 count on an inside-corner fastball. He follows that up with a swinging strikeout of Darin Erstad, a rising thing of beauty that's too high to hit by the time Erstad's bat is waved through the zone. Two outs. Tim Salmon is the final out, flying to center, ending the threat. Giants 2, Angels 1
Jeff Kent is the leadoff hitter for the Giants, starting a challenging stretch for Angels starter Jarrod Washburn, who gets him to ground out to short. Bases empty for Barry Bonds. On 2 and 1, Bonds gets a good swing at a tempting pitch that's fouled back. On 2-2, Washburn doesn't get the call -- Bonds does -- on a pitch that looked down and away but was close. Bonds goes down swinging, though, on an up-and-tight fastball that would have been ball four. Benito Santiago reaches first on a bloop single to center. Reggie Sanders enters the picture. The first pitch is a ball, inside. The second pitch is a ball, low. The third pitch is a ball, high. Washburn is being very careful with Sanders, who sent one to the stands in his previous at-bat -- it was returned to the field in a Wrigleyesque moment by an unimpressed Anaheim fan. On 3 and 1, Sanders walks, taking a pitch that was a little low and away. J.T. Snow, lefty vs. lefty, bats with runners on first and second, two outs. Here we go. Washburn falls behind, 3 and 0. Snow swings right through/over a fastball on the outside corner. Full count. Washburn, 28 years old and in a jam, gets Snow to foul off the next pitch. Once again, 3 and 2, and the offer results in a foul back and to the third-base side of home. Same thing happens on the third 3-2 delivery. The fourth? Ball four, slightly high and outside. The bases are loaded. Ducks on the pond as they say. Though, in Anaheim, that refers to the hockey team, the Mighty Ducks, who play at a place affectionately known as the Pond. David Bell, last year's Seattle third baseman, stands in against Washburn with a bases-loaded chance. He flies out in shallow right, near the foul line, ending the Anaheim anxiety as the ball lands in right fielder Tim Salmon's glove. Giants 2, Angels 1 Bottom 4
Garret Anderson greets Jason Schmidt by drilling a low-inside pitch to right for a sizzling single. Troy Glaus, who homered in his previous plate appearance, is up. It's a 1-1 count. The first three hits tonight? All home runs. That has never happened before in a World Series. It's 2-1 to Glaus. The next pitch looks like a 9-iron shot off of Glaus' bat. It's a popout (not to be confused with a pop-up Internet ad) to second. Brad Fullmer enters the batter's box on the left side. Schmidt gets ahead, 0 and 2, then tries a split-fingered pitch that bottoms out, low and away. A curve then bounces low and inside, blocked impressively by Benito Santiago. On 2-2, Fullmer is overmatched on a 96 mph fastball, a swinging strikeout. Scott Spiezio is next for Schmidt, who falls behind, 2 and 1, prompting a visit to the mound by Santiago. A pitch later, with the thunder sticks making some effectively annoying sound, Spiezio rips a bouncing double to right. It's hit too hard for Anderson to score. He's held up there by third-base coach Ron Roenicke -- and rightly so. Two outs, second and third. It's up to Bengie Molina, the No. 8 batter. Schmidt gets out front, 0 and 2, then fires an up-and-away fastball for ball one. On 1-2, Schmidt gets Molina to bounce out, a chopper to third that David Bell eats up and zips to first for an easy out. Giants 2, Angels 1
Tsuyoshi Shinjo leads off for the Giants against Jarrod Washburn. On 2-2, Shinjo whacks a fastball to right-center for a single. Kenny Lofton is up. Tim McCarver recommends a bunt in the FOX broadcast. Lofton shows bunt, late, on a pitch that winds up ball one, out of the zone. Next pitch, Lofton shows bunt late again, fouling off the pitch on the third-base side. It's a 1-1 count. Is the bunt still on? Yes. On 2-1, Lofton bunts between the mound and third, getting thrown out at first but advancing Shinjo to second. One out. Rich Aurilia -- with 12 RBIs, the most by a shortstop in one postseason in Major League history -- sends a broken-bat fly to left for out No. 2. Washburn falls behind, 2 and 0, to the next Giant: Kent (with Barry Bonds on deck). On 2-0, Kent grounds a hard-hit roller to short, the ball bouncing off David Eckstein's chest; but Eckstein calmly picks up the ball and fires in time to first. Giants 2, Angels 1 Bottom 5
Adam Kennedy strikes out against Jason Schmidt, who gets his fifth strikeout, this one swinging, if you can call Kennedy's helpless wave a swing. Nice pitch by Schmidt, and Kennedy experiences a rare poor at-bat for him this postseason. Stepping up next is the speedy David Eckstein, who cracks a grounder up the middle that Jeff Kent manages to field. But the SF second baseman's sling to first is late. It's an infield single for Eckstein. Darin Erstad bats. It's a 1-1 count, and Erstad fouls the pitch back. On 1-2 with one out, Eckstein bluffs a steal of second on a ball in the dirt. On 2-2, with Eckstein running and shortstop Rich Aurilia covering second, Erstad lines a single toward center, the ball traveling just a couple of feet out of Aurilia's reach, too high, and into center field. It's first and third with one out. Next thing that happens: Tim Salmon hits a pop foul near the first-base dugout. J.T. Snow makes like J.T. on ice, falling down on his back-end as his spikes slide on the surface in front of the Giants dugout. But Snow keeps his poise, getting to his feet, and catching the harmless pop for a huge out. It's 0 and 2. And after a swinging strikeout of Garret Anderson -- making the Angels 0 for 7 tonight with runners in scoring position -- Schmidt and the Giants trot off the field -- none falling down -- clinging to their one-run lead. Giants 2, Angels 1
Snow falls, recovers and makes the catch
Troy Glaus leads off with his second homer of the night, a no-doubt-about-it spanking to left on a 1-0 batting-practice pitch from Jason Schmidt. It's a 4-2 game. Next batter, the count goes to 3 and 1, and Brad Fullmer walks. That gets the bullpen activity going, big time, for San Francisco. A conference is held on the mound, with pitching coach Dave Righetti emerging from the dugout. Schmidt stays in, and Scott Spiezio pops out to right. Felix Rodriguez (righty) and Aaron Fultz (lefty) are up in the Giants bullpen. With Bengie Molina batting, Fullmer takes off from first on a pitch that Molina grounds to third. David Bell throws Molina out, and Fullmer reaches second. All of a sudden it's a one-run game once more on a first-pitch RBI single by Adam Kennedy, who sends a looping high liner to right-center -- and sends Dusty Baker to the mound to pull Schmidt. Rodriguez is summoned, and he gets David Eckstein to line out to short. Giants 4, Angels 3
Glaus hits second homer of the game
Remember, the rally monkey only appears if the Angels get a runner on base. So, the San Francisco bullpen can spare Giants fans of any monkey business. Not likely, however. Darin Erstad is the first hitter. Felix Rodriguez looks impressive, firing pitches in the mid-90s and Erstad strikes out swinging. Tim McCarver, meanwhile, has been shown in the booth wearing powder-blue slacks from, say, the mid-70s. But that's not relevant, of course, as, well, other members in the sports media often wear attire that's more suspect than that. Back to the game, unquestionably a gem to this point. Tim Salmon flies out to right, a ball that hangs in the air for Reggie Sanders. Two down. Rodriguez is rocking. It's 2 and 2 to Garret Anderson. The pitch? Popped foul into the first few rows of seats down the third-base side, too far for David Bell or Barry Bonds to get. On 2-2 once again, Anderson crushes a one-hop shot right at Jeff Kent, the SF second baseman. End of inning. Giants 4, Angels 3, Monkey moments 0 Giants 4, Angels 3 Top 8
The 3-4-5 hitters are due up for the Giants. That means Jeff Kent is first up against Brendan Donnelly. Kent jacks a liner to short, and the ball is dropped by David Eckstein, who has plenty of time to throw out Kent, a hard-luck hitter this night. That ends the evening for Donnelly. Enter Scott Schoeneweis, a left-hander, to face -- gulp -- Barry Bonds. That's the bad news if you're Anaheim. The good news for the Angels is, the bases are empty. The first three pitches are out of the strike zone. The defense is shown in a massive right-side shift. It's unnecessary. The infielders could have sat on the ground. Four pitches, one walk. Schoeneweis' outing is done as Bonds accepts the free pass to first. Now pitching for Anaheim: Ben Weber, a right-hander. Now batting for San Francisco: Benito Santiago. Weber gets ahead, 1 and 2, shattering a bat in the process, then Santiago (on 2-2) grounds a ball between short and third. David Eckstein makes a nice play to his right. Bonds, running on the pitch, advances to second as Santiago is thrown out at first. Next, on 2 and 2, Reggie Sanders takes a ball way inside. A nifty inside pitch follows, with Sanders swinging and missing. Giants 4, Angels 3 Bottom 8
Tim Worrell, the big right-hander (how big? 6-foot-4, 230 pounds), is on the mound for the Giants. His first test: Troy Glaus, who has two home runs in the game. Worrell earns a called second strike on 1-1 on a knee-buckling changeup on the lower-outside part of the plate. The count goes to 2-2 on a delivery that's lower and away. Glaus steps out of the box. Back in, Worrell hits his intended spot, recording a mammoth strikeout, called, on the inside edge of the plate. With one out and nobody on, Brad Fullmer bats. Soon, it's 1 and 2, and Fullmer grounds out to second. Two up, two down for Worrell. Scott Spiezio is up. The count goes to 2-2, with Worrell wonderfully working the corners. Spiezio takes a 2-2 pitch that's barely outside, filling the count. Next delivery: upstairs. Man on base, bottom of the eighth, Angels down. For those of you wondering where the rally monkey is, she is not summoned, as a rule, unless Anaheim has a runner in scoring position in this situation. Worrell, despite the walk, appears to be in a groove. The batter is Orlando Palmeiro. Pinch running for Spiezio is Chone Figgins. The count goes all the way, 3 and 2, with Palmeiro fouling a pitch back into the seats. His next foul is a bubble-buster for hopeful Angels fans, a popout on the third base side near the dugout. David Bell squeezes it, no problem. Giants 4, Angels 3 Top 9
J.T. Snow, the star of the night for San Francisco, sends a drive to relatively deep left. But he's out No. 1. Ben Weber is still pitching for Anaheim. He gets ahead of David Bell and, on 1-2, records a swinging strikeout on a pitch that dipped rudely as it approached home. Tom Goodwin pinch hits for Tsuyoshi Shinjo and grounds out to short, where David Eckstein has to hurry but has no problem finishing the visitors' half of the ninth. Giants 4, Angels 3 Bottom 9
Robb Nen, the San Francisco closer, is on the mound. Adam Kennedy is way out front of the Giant right-hander's first pitch, fouling it into the seats along the first-base side. The next pitch is a ball, evening the count. Strike two comes on a pulled foul, way out of play. Same thing, a foul, on the next Nen delivery. On 1-2 again, Kennedy sends a fly ball deep down the right-field line. At the front edge of the warning track, Reggie Sanders makes the catch. One out. David Eckstein is the batter. The count goes to 1-1, and Eckstein lines a foul drive down the third-base line, a hit that, off the bat, looked like it had double potential. Instead, it landed harmlessly away from the chalk. Nen, in command at 1-2, pinpoints a masterful slider that Eckstein waves at but can't hit. Strike three. Two outs. Monkey for nothing is a pun that races to mind. The count goes to 0-2 on Darin Erstad. San Francisco is one strike away from handing Anaheim its first loss of this postseason at Edison Field. Erstad flies out to center. And indeed, the Giants pull off the one-run triumph, boosted by home runs off the bats of J.T. Snow, Reggie Sanders and Barry Bonds. The Series resumes Sunday night. Same time, same place. Only, this time, the Angels are in a better-win situation. Hats off to the San Francisco bullpen and, again, to Snow.
Final: Giants 4, Angels 3
Giants lead series, 1-0 Dinn Mann is editor-in-chief of MLB.com. Send questions, comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.