Forget the Yankees! Forget Arizona! Forget Atlanta! This year we have a match-up most people would have scoffed at 6 months ago. This year the Anaheim Angels are playing the San Francisco Giants in the all wild-card, all California fall classic. It’s Barry Bonds vs. the rally monkey. Who will win, that’s anyone’s guess, but one thing is for sure, it’s gonna be one hell of a ride.
10/19/02 Edison International Field
A week of speculation about whether or not the Angels would pitch to Barry Bonds was ended. They did, and Barry Bonds made them pay. In his first World Series at-bat ever Bonds smashed a homer over the right field fence. Two batters later Reggie Sanders launched one, remind the masses there are more then just one player on the Giants who could play long ball. Not to be left out of the fun, Troy Glaus hit two home runs for the Angels but it was JT snow who was the star of the game. He made an incredible play when he chased a ball into foul territory and slipped on the dirt, only to get back up and make the catch. Then, later in the game, he hit a game winning 2-run homer. Giants Win.
Result: Giants 4 Angels 3
Bonds Report: 1 Walk, 1 Home Run, 2 Strike outs
10/20/02 Edison International Field
With all the talk of Bonds' greatness, the Angels needed to prove that they could play with the big boys. The Angels responded with Tim Salmon leading the way. He went 4 for 4, with 2 home runs, including the game winning 2-run home run in the bottom of the 8th. The teams combined for 21 runs yet the game was surprising close, with the lead changing 5 times. Both offenses were dominant with the Angels running of Russ Ortiz in 1 1/3 innings and the Giants doing the same to Kevin Appier in 2 innings. Tim Salmon took the lead for the Angels in the bottom of the 8th with a 2-run homer. But not to be out done, Barry Bonds crushed an incredible home run that seemed to leave the ballpark the next inning. It went 485 feet, staying just in the park, but it wasn’t enough to get the win. Angels win.
Result: Angels 11 Giants 10
Bonds Report: 1 (incredible) home run, 3 walks, 1 ground out
10/22/02 Pacific Bell Park
Game 3 was all Angels, all the time. They combined for 16 hits and batted through the order two innings in a row, scoring four runs in each time. By the 4th inning the game was all but over with the Angels leading 8 to 1 at that point. Scott Spezio drove in 3 runs while Bengie Molina had 2 hits and three walks. The “undefeatable” Livan Hernandez was pulled in just 3 1/3 innings. The Giants did manage to salvage some of their dignity by putting 4 runs on the board, and of course, Bonds hit his obligatory home run, but it was too little, too late. Angels win.
Result:Angels 10 Giants 4
Bonds Report: 1 Home run, 2 Walks, 1 Strikeout
10/23/02 Pacific Bell Park
It looked as if Game 3’s beating had taken it all out of the Giants. By the third inning the Giants were down by 3 runs, and had already grounded into 2 double plays, but then came the 5th inning. Kirk Reuter, a pitcher, started off the inning with an infield single. It was followed up by a bunt from Kenny Lofton which rolled foul, but through some miracle, the earth that had once ended a world series game prematurely in San Francisco nudged the ball just fair. A few more hits and the Giants had tied up the game but things where still not looking good for the Giants because Mike Scioscia put in the rookie phenomenon, Francisco Rodriguez. After his dominating 3 inning shutdown of the Giants in game one, things looked bleak. But F-Rod was not on his top game tonight, JT Snow singled and one batter later David Bell singled him home for the game winning run. Giants Win.
Result: Giants 4 Angels 3
Bonds Report: 3 Walks, 1 Strike out
10/24/02 Pacific Bell Park
Apparently there are more players on the Giants then Barry Bonds, and in game 5 Jeff Kent made sure the world knew it as the Giants blew out the Angels. Kent launched 2 home runs, had 4 RBIs, a hit and a walk over the course of 6 plate appearances. By the second inning the Giants were leading by 6 runs. Anaheim rallied to pull within 2 runs but the Giants quickly laid to rest any hopes of an Anaheim comeback by putting 10 runs on the board in the final 3 innings. Rich Aurilia launched a 3 run bomb in the 7th inning. The 7th inning also had other memorable moments. Darren Baker, Dusty Baker’s son and Giants bat boy, barely avoided being plowed over by David Bell when he tried to retrieve a bat while the ball was still in play. Fortunately JT Snow who had just crossed home plate moments earlier noticed Darren and managed to pull him out of the way making for one of the more frightening and funny moments in the game. In all the giants totaled 16 run on 16 hits. Giants win.
Result: Giants 16 Angels 4
Bonds Report: 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 fly
10/26/02 Edison International Field
The champagne was on ice. The ticker tape parade was in the works. All signs seemed to point to the San Francisco Giants being the next World Champions. Russ Ortiz had pitched a beautiful 6 inning shutout, Bonds had hit his obligatory home run, and the Giants had a comfortable lead with just a few innings to go. Barry Bonds had finally gotten the monkey of his post season disappointments off his back, or so he thought. But in the 6th, the Angel who’d been hitting .203 in the past 25+ innings, got a hit, and then another one and the rally monkeys started coming out. Then with two men on Scott Spezio slammed a home run putting the Angels within two. And from there on the Giants bullpen just kept hemorrhaging runs. The 8th inning came around and those rally monkeys were still out, and wouldn’t you know it, Darin Erstad hit a home run to start off the inning. The Angel went on to score 2 more runs, putting them ahead of the Giants by 1, and that’s where it stayed, dashing the Giants hopes of the World Title and pushing this series to the critical game 7. Angels Win
Result: Angels 6 Giants 5
Bonds Report: 1 home run, 2 Walks, 1 Strike out
10/27/02 Edison International Field
If there was any question about who the best team in baseball was, it was answered in Game 7. The Angels dominated the Giants, never giving them a chance in the game. The Angels won in a fashion that was appropriate for their team because no one player dominated the game. In fact, only one player, Bengie Molina
, had more then 1 hit. The game was won small ball style, with everyone contributing a hit here and there to get runs. Garrett Anderson
hit the game winning 3-RBI single, and from there John Lackey
shut down the Giants. Angels Win
Result: Angels 4 Giants 1
Bonds Report: 1 hit, 1 Walk, 2 Outs
thx to caknuck, C-Dawg, WRW, mauler, kthejoker and avalyn. my own person editing team.
It’s sad to know that this series had some of the lowest TV ratings that any series has ever seen. This series was the essence of baseball. Four of the games where decided by one run. It was chalk full of offensive goodness and we were able to watch the greatest hitter alive and one of the greatest hitters ever put on a show. Barry Bonds hit .417 with 8 hits in 17 at bats and 4 of those where home runs, not to mention an innumerable amount of walks. But in the end one man could not win it all. This series harkens back to the true spirit of baseball, of team play, because even though Troy Glaus won the MVP, there wasn’t one man who won this series, it was an entire team working together as a unit that allowed the Angels to overcome the Giants. It just makes you long for another autumn.