|Giants at Angels, Game 2|
By Dinn Mann
Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4 | Game 5 | Game 6 | Game 7 Pre-game
The Angels hadn't won a Game 1 all postseason, and that didn't prevent them from making quick work of New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins.
So, there's little reason to suspect Orange County's finest are stressed out about the challenge confronting them in their first World Series.
Russ Ortiz, 2-0 this postseason, takes on Anaheim's David Eckstein to lead off the game. Eckstein promptly deposits a line-drive single into right field on 1 and 1. Darin Erstad is next. As the FOX graphic says, he has more hits in these playoffs than any other player: 17. Ortiz falls behind, 2 and 0, and Erstad licks his chops and responds to the hitter-friendly count with a ripped double to right-center, easily driving in Eckstein. The gapper rolled to the wall, and neither base runner had to slide.
With nobody out and Erstad on second, Tim Salmon steps into the box. On 1 and 0, Salmon goes the other way for a solid line-drive single to right. So solid is the hit, in fact, that Erstad is held up at third. This leads to an early visit to the mound by Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti. The next bat-wielding foe for Ortiz is Garret Anderson. He takes a breaking ball, low, for ball one. Ortiz gets the benefit of the doubt on the ensuing pitch, deemed on the lower-outside corner of the plate. For the first time, Ortiz gets ahead in a count: 1 and 2. Even so, Anderson patiently pounds a groundball single to right -- just out of the diving Jeff Kent's reach (to his right) -- scoring Erstad and sending Salmon to second. It's 2-0 Angels.
Troy Glaus, fresh off a two-homer night in Game 1, becomes a loud first out with a deep fly to center. Salmon tags up, getting to third. Brad Fullmer, a 27-year-old former teammate of Ortiz's -- the pitcher being a year older -- in high school, is the hitter. With a 1-2 count, Fullmer belts a sinking liner to center. Kenny Lofton almost makes a spectacular, rolling catch, but he can't hang on. Salmon scores, and Anderson gets to third.
Suddenly, it's an inning like the one that eliminated the Yankees. Scott Spiezio gets in on the action -- moving at a Matrix-like pace -- hitting a first-pitch flare to right, driving in Mr. Anderson. It's 4-0 Anaheim. Still with just one out, the Angels have runners on first (Spiezio) and third (Fullmer). That brings up Bengie Molina. On 1 and 2, the Angels make a double steal look simple. Benito Santiago fields the ball in the dirt and fires high toward second without looking back Fullmer, who scores easily on the play. Spiezio is on second. Molina flies out to reasonably deep center. Two down. Five runs in.
Tim McCarver had been the last player to steal home in a World Series game, that in 1964, as FOX reveals. For those of you interested in the non-baseball aspect of things, that makes the count even between the references to the often-promoted Bernie Mac and the man to whom we'll now affectionately refer as T-Mac. The half-inning ends with an excuse-me groundout by Adam Kennedy, a roller Kennedy was unaware traveled fair.
Angels 5, Giants 0
Suddenly, some textbook baseball is happening on the defensive side. David Bell makes a diving stop along the third-base line and throws out David Eckstein for the first out. Darin Erstad bats next against Chad Zerbe. The count goes to 3 and 1. Erstad grounds out to Bell as well, a slashing opposite-way bouncer. Tim Salmon ends the dream sequence for San Francisco with a solid single to left, the first blemish on Zerbe's line. Garret Anderson steps to the plate. Zerbe gets ahead, 0 and 2. Anderson hits a liner that becomes a dirt-scoop groundout to Jeff Kent. Angels 7, Giants 5
Rich Aurilia leads off with a bloop double to no-man's land in shallow center, then he slides over the second-base bag but keeps his armpit, then hand on the base before Adam Kennedy can tag him. Jeff Kent stands in against John Lackey. The count goes to 2 and 2. Kent foul-tips a pitch that could have been held for strike three but, alas Angels fans, wasn't. Again on 2-2, Lackey earns a called strike three. Kent shares a moment of rebuttal with the umpire but walks away without further incident. Barry Bonds moves ominously toward home. And the Angels send him ominously -- he is, after all, representing the tying run -- toward first on an intentional walk. That sets the table for Benito Santiago. But whatever Santiago is served will be brought by a new pitcher. Ben Weber (from Beaumont, Texas) replaces Lackey, also a right-handed Texan (Abilene). In the one-out danger spot, Weber surrenders a groundball single to left. The jam-shot roller skips briskly past the diving Anaheim third baseman, Troy Glaus, and the bases are loaded because Aurilia is held at third. J.T. Snow has the bases-loaded moment. The first three pitches are out of the strike zone. Weber gets strike one (taken) on the outside part of the plate. Snow then proceeds to tie the game with a hard-hit groundball single to right. And the situation is this, still for Weber and the Angels: runners on first and third with one out. It's 7-up. The count is 1 and 2 to Reggie Sanders, a hot right-handed hitter.
Catcher Bengie Molina hurts his catching hand on a foul-back ball that catches some skin. A few moments later, Weber gets a significant swinging strikeout on a pitch that spirals downward as it crosses the plate. Two outs. David Bell's turn to bat. Weber, with that look on his face as if he's just sniffed spoiled milk, gives up what would become a controversial infield hit up the middle, an off-the-end-of-the-bat roller. And so, No. 77 (Weber) doesn't keep the score 7-7. The Giants' eighth run scores despite a diving stop by Kennedy and a flip to David Eckstein covering second that could have been ruled an out. It was, without question, a call that legitimately could have gone either way. This makes it 8-7. Shawon Dunston follows up that bang-bang untying play with a single to left on a 1-0 pitch. Snow scores, and Bell gets to third on a throwing error by Garret Anderson. Dunston is on at first, two outs, with Kenny Lofton approaching the batter's box. Lofton grounds out to second.
Giants 9, Angels 7
Chad Zerbe, still pitching effectively (three hits, no earned runs, in more than three innings) for San Francisco, gets Adam Kennedy on a first-pitch tapout to first baseman J.T. Snow. David Eckstein is up. With a 2-and-2 count, Eckstein, smiling after a way-out-front foul, chops out to short. The ground balls continue, this time with Darin Erstad hitting one hard down the first-base line. It's a two-out double for the pride of Jamestown, North Dakota. Jay Witasick replaces Zerbe. And as he warms up, the scoreboard operators in Anaheim grab the opportunity to summon the rally monkey for a teaser. In the technique used on Conan O'Brien's late-night show, the monkey is shown lip-synching the words to Queen's "We Will Rock You" as Tim Salmon grabs a bat. Witasick works his way to a 2-2 count (getting the second strike on a nice slider). The count goes full on a high-inside offer. Just after Witasick's unimpressive postseason stats flash on the screen, he walks Salmon. First and second. Two outs. That's it for Witasick. Aaron Fultz gets a situational stint, answering Dusty Baker's call to go up against Garret Anderson, lefty vs. lefty. First pitch, ball one, low. Second pitch, bounced foul. Third pitch, RBI single to right, a clean stroke that easily scores Erstad. Salmon gets hung up between second and third. He's a dead duck after the run scores. The good news outweighs the bad news for Anaheim, though. Tie game. Three innings to go. Giants 9, Angels 9
Garret Anderson's RBI ties it up, 9-9
Felix Rodriguez -- the Giants' F-Rod -- enters the 9-9 game. Troy Glaus is the hitter. Unlike Francisco, Felix starts off by falling behind, 3 and 0. On 3-1, Glaus pops up to second baseman Jeff Kent in shallow center. Brad Fullmer approaches the plate. Felix gets the count to 0-2. The second strike is recorded on a foul ball that winds up in the lap of Hall of Famer George Brett -- a Kansas City star who grew up in Southern California -- in the stands. Brett, looking golf-course tan, takes another bite of his concession-stand fare and coolly holds the souvenir in the air, to the delight of those seated around him. Back to the action on the field: Fullmer, working his way to a full count, earns a one-out walk. Scott Spiezio bats in a huge situation. He puts a charge into a pitch, pulling it to right-center (on a pitch that was a little outside), and the ball dies right around the warning track and lands in Kenny Lofton's glove. Two down. No. 8 in the lineup, Bengie Molina, the Angels' least-intimidating everyday hitter this postseason, is up. He flies out to right. We go to the eighth. Giants 9, Angels 9 Top 8
Francisco Rodriguez is back on the mound, facing his seventh batter. Seven up, seven down. David Bell pops out to Darin Erstad in shallow center. Shawon Dunston follows suit, popping out in foul territory to Anaheim first baseman Scott Spiezio. That brings Kenny Lofton into the box. On 0 and 2 with two outs, Lofton grounds out harmlessly to Rodriguez, who shows some confident hop in his stride after flipping to Spiezio. It's safe to say, San Francisco would just as soon see the Angels sans Francisco. Giants 9, Angels 9 Bottom 8
Adam Kennedy is experiencing a natural fallout from the three-homer game he enjoyed in the League Championship Series. He's upper-cutting like crazy. He's down 1 and 2 in the count, and he just fouled off what would have been ball two, up and away. Again on 1 and 2, Kennedy fouls off another Felix Rodriguez pitch. Next, he puts a scare into San Francisco fans by tomahawking a high pitch far but foul down the right-field line. For the fourth time on 1 and 2, Kennedy flies out on a routine play for Kenny Lofton in center. Enter David Eckstein, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound shortstop. Rodriguez tugs at the bill of his cap, looks for a sign and fires toward home. Eckstein reaches down and out, lining a single to right-center. Will the Angels grab a lead, going to the ninth? That will be up to Darin Erstad or perhaps somebody behind him. First pitch to Erstad: ball. Second pitch: swing and a miss (late on a fastball). Third pitch: high and away. Fourth pitch: fouled back. It's 2 and 2. Fifth pitch: fouled away on a protective cut. Sixth pitch: up and outside. Seventh pitch: foul away. Eighth: enough already. Erstad flies out to left. Rodriguez wins that crucial game within the game. Dave Righetti visits the mound for a pitching coach-chat with his right-hander as Tim Salmon steps onto the stage. Two outs, man on first. Salmon goes yard, front yard, back yard, side yard. He clobbers Rodriguez's first pitch (after a pickoff attempt) for his second two-run homer of the night. Tiny Tim? Hardly. More like Slammin' Salmon. The Angels lead, 11-9. The place is happier than the "It's A Small World" ride across the street. Huge moment for Salmon, Anaheim and for this World Series. Rodriguez is out of the game, and you can't help crediting Erstad a little for wearing the pitcher down just enough. We'll see in our reporters' coverage what Righetti said to him on that trip to the mound. Tim Worrell replaces Rodriguez and gets Garret Anderson on a little pop to shortstop Rich Aurilia. Angels 11, Giants 9
Salmon second two-run homer of the game