For Game 7, Angels turn to Lackey

Scioscia passes over Ortiz

rookie to pitch against ex-Series MVP Hernandez

Notebook

World Series

October 27, 2002|By Peter Schmuck and Joe Christensen | Peter Schmuck and Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Last year it was Curt Schilling vs. Roger Clemens. This year, Game 7 of the World Series will match Livan Hernandez against John Lackey.

Who?

After his team's thrilling 6-5 comeback victory in Game 6, Anaheim Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced he would start Lackey in the clincher instead of Ramon Ortiz, who has tendinitis in his right wrist.

Lackey, a rookie, started Game 4 for the Angels and will be pitching on three days' rest.

"With Ramon's wrist, I think we can use him at some point, but I don't know about the length," Scioscia said. "We'd like John to start and try to get some rhythm, give him a chance to pitch a little bit."

Lackey, who was with Triple-A Salt Lake City until the end of June, finished the season with a 9-4 record. In the postseason, he is 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA.

Hernandez, the 1997 World Series Most Valuable Player with the Florida Marlins, had his perfect 6-0 career postseason record tarnished when he lost Game 3 against the Angels, allowing six runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Giants manager Dusty Baker said he would have starters Jason Schmidt and Kirk Rueter available in relief.

"We feel comfortable with Livan," Baker said before hearing Lackey had been named Anaheim's starter. "But we're going to go with everybody. I'm curious to see who they're going to go with."

Asked before Game 6 if he would be hesitant to start a rookie in a potential Game 7, Scioscia said not if that rookie is Lackey.

"There's absolutely nobody that we would have more confidence in to give the ball to," Scioscia said. "He's executing his pitches, he's getting guys out, he's got the makeup.

"What he lacks in experience, he makes up for with talent and the ability to execute pitches. That's what this game is about."

Inspired by Oates

Baker doesn't need any help keeping his club's run at the world title in perspective.

The relative importance of baseball in the greater scheme of things came crashing down on him last winter when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had surgery to remove the tumor. If he needs any more help in that area, he can talk to ex-Orioles manager Johnny Oates, who is battling brain cancer.

"I've talked to Oatesy probably five or six times this summer," Baker said yesterday. "He called me after I had mine [surgery] and I called him."

Baker and Oates have a long history together that dates back to their days as minor-league farmhands in Richmond and Rochester and includes two common major-league stops.

"Oatesy and I were on the Braves together, we were on the Dodgers together and we played against each other in the minor leagues when he was with the Orioles. I'm glad Oatesy is still here because a couple of months ago, everybody didn't know whether he would be. ... Deep down in my heart, I still think Oatesy will make it."

Child's play

The presence of Baker's 3-year-old son near home plate while the ball was in play on Thursday night raised some eyebrows, but there were no official complaints from the Angels about the number of young children in and around the Giants' dugout during the World Series.

"I know Dusty, the environment he wants to set," Scioscia said.

"It's very family-oriented. I didn't see the incident [in which J.T. Snow had to scoop up Darren Baker]. I didn't even see any replays of it. It's tough for me to comment on. I just know that with Dusty, they have a lot of kids around there, they seem to respond to that atmosphere."

Walks record

Barry Bonds drew two walks in the first four innings, giving him 12 for the Series, a record. Babe Ruth had 11 walks for the New York Yankees in 1926 and Gene Tenace had 11 walks for Oakland in 1973.

Angels pitcher Kevin Appier intentionally walked Bonds in the first inning, giving Bonds seven intentional walks for the Series. That is the most for a single Series.

Intentional walks have only been recorded since 1955.

Starting pitching woes

Entering last night's game, neither team had had a starter pitch into the seventh inning.

There had never been a World Series where at least one starting pitcher didn't finish seven innings. The Angels' starting pitchers entered last night's game with a 9.14 ERA, and the Giants entered with a 8.72 ERA.

According to the Orange County Register, those ranked as the sixth and seventh worst performances by a starting staff in World Series history. The worst starting staff ERA in a World Series was the San Diego Padres in 1984, as the group of Mark Thurmond, Ed Whitson, Tim Lollar and Eric Show combined to post a 13.94 ERA against the Detroit Tigers.

Dunston on retirement

As an 18-year veteran, Giants designated hitter Shawon Dunston is contemplating retirement, but it sounds like he'll be back somewhere next year.

"I still want to play," said Dunston, who turns 40 in March. As a designated hitter last night, he hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning.

RBI record

Scott Spiezio's three-run homer in the seventh inning gave him 19 RBIs for the postseason, matching the record Sandy Alomar Jr. set with the Cleveland Indians in 1997.

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