Giants open with a show of power, 4-3

Bonds, Sanders, Snow clear fence against Angels as visitors take Game 1

Angels' Glaus hits two homers

Anaheim lost its openers against Yanks, Twins, too

World Series

October 20, 2002|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Maybe this is all part of the plan. The Anaheim Angels lost the first game of their Division Series and the first game of the American League Championship Series. Now, they've lost the first game of the 98th World Series, as if that is the way it is supposed to be done.

The Rally Monkey played possum.

The San Francisco Giants did not.

Barry Bonds made his World Series debut with a bang and the Giants hit three homers last night to score a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the first all-wild card Fall Classic at Edison International Field.

Bonds' long home run in the second inning - in his first-ever World Series at-bat - put the Giants on top, and J.T. Snow's two-run shot in the sixth inning turned out to be the decisive blow as San Francisco quickly wrested away the mathematical home-field advantage in the best-of-seven series.

"For Barry to start off the series like that, that's a great sign," Giants manager Dusty Baker said. "He was very focused today on what he had to do."

The Angels also continued to hit the long ball with amazing postseason regularity, getting two more home runs from third baseman Troy Glaus, but they couldn't muster the late-inning mojo that became their trademark in the first two playoff rounds.

Left to the two bullpens after starters Jarrod Washburn and Jason Schmidt worked into the sixth inning, both teams got strong relief and the game ground to an uneventful finish, which had to be hard to fathom after Bonds and Co. got things off to such an exciting start.

Washburn had to find out for himself. He obviously had heard all the talk about how dangerous it is to throw a strike to the greatest home run hitter of the era, but there's nothing like firsthand experience.

The young left-hander didn't just challenge Bonds the first time he faced him last night, he tempted fate. He fell behind 2-0 before throwing him back-to-back strikes - the second of which traveled 415 feet and landed back where they keep the lawn mowers.

"Jarrod didn't get a fastball where he wanted to and Barry hit a home run," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's baseball. Other than that, I think we made some pretty good pitches to Barry."

Bonds became the 26th player to hit a home run in his first World Series at-bat and the Giants weren't quite done in the second inning. Reggie Sanders, who struggled so badly in the first two rounds that he sat out Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, celebrated his return to the Fall Classic with a homer one out later.

The two early jolts took a little of the starch out of the sellout crowd of 44,603, but not for long. Glaus launched a towering home run to left field off Schmidt in the second to remind everyone of the amazing resiliency the Angels have shown in the postseason.

Glaus became the 27th player to hit a home run in his first World Series at-bat and Adam Kennedy nearly became the 28th when he doubled off the top of the right-field fence.

In short, both teams proved early they came to play. Washburn obviously wasn't intimidated by the big swings in the second inning, because he came right back to strike out Bonds on a high fastball in the fourth.

Schmidt didn't try to sneak past anyone either, He threw 38 of his first 50 pitches in the strike zone and allowed several well-hit balls, but didn't walk anyone until the sixth.

The Angels had runners in scoring position in five straight innings, but struggled to reproduce the offensive magic that seemed to come so easily during their Division Series victory over the New York Yankees and their ALCS triumph over Minnesota.

"Our pitchers did a great job of stopping those guys from scoring when they had guys in scoring position," Baker said. "We made some big pitches."

Washburn worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and seemed to be cruising into the late innings when Snow jumped on a 3-1 fastball in the sixth and drove it all the way to the rock formation in center field for the third Giants homer of the game.

Snow pumped his fist as he rounded first and savored the chance to show his former teammates he could still put a charge into one. He isn't known for his power, but the homer was his second of the postseason.

"I was looking for a fastball," Snow said. "He had fallen behind 3-0 and I got the take sign and got a good look at the next pitch. I was seeing the ball pretty well off him, so I was just trying to stay inside the ball and drive it to left-center."

Of course, the Angels reacted as they have to almost every big hit from the opposition this October. Glaus led off the bottom of the sixth with his second home run of the game, which triggered another surge of emotion in the stands.

It was Glaus' sixth postseason home run, tying the record shared by Bob Robertson (1971), Lenny Dykstra (1993), Ken Griffey Jr. (1995), Bernie Williams (1996) and Jim Thome (1998). It also was the 19th home run of the postseason for the Angels, which tied the record set by the 1995 Atlanta Braves.

That record doesn't figure to stand much longer.

The Angels did not lose another game in either the Division Series or the ALCS after losing both openers, a trend they certainly would like to see continue when they take the field for Game 2 tonight.

"This obviously wasn't a blueprint to go out and lose Game 1," Scioscia said. "We're going to play one game at a time and we'll let you guys add them up."

Schedule

Anaheim vs. San Francisco(Best of seven; *-if necessary)

TV:Chs. 45, 5

San Francisco leads series 1-0

Last night:San Fran., 4-3

Today:at Anaheim, 8 p.m.

Tuesday:at San Fran., 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday:at San Fran., 8:30 p.m.*Thursday:at San Fran., 8:20 p.m.*Saturday:at Anaheim, 8 p.m.*Oct. 27:at Anaheim, 8 p.m. SunSpot:For more coverage, visit sunspot.net/baseball

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.