All the marbles
Angels, Giants headed to 35th Game 7 in Series historyPosted: Sunday October 27, 2002 12:02 AM
Updated: Sunday October 27, 2002 4:40 AM
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants have less than 24 hours to recover from one of the biggest collapses in World Series history.
After blowing a five-run lead in the final three innings of Game 6 against the Anaheim Angels, San Francisco will try to bounce back and win the decisive seventh game Sunday night.
The Giants led 5-0 in the seventh inning Saturday and needed just nine more outs to wrap up their first championship since 1954, when they still played in New York.
But the Angels, known mostly for their own collapses in their first 42 years, mounted a comeback for the ages and won 6-5.
None of that will matter if Anaheim can't win Sunday. Neither will Bonds' dominating postseason if he doesn't win his first career championship.
There have been many Game 7 pitchers' duels in World Series history. This year doesn't appear to shape up as one.
It'll be Livan Hernandez starting for the Giants against rookie John Lackey on three days' rest.
Ramon Ortiz had been scheduled to start for the Angels, but the tendinitis in his right wrist made manager Mike Scioscia leery.
Giants manager Dusty Baker set up his rotation so October star Hernandez could pitch the seventh game. Hernandez won the MVP of the NLCS and World Series in 1997 for Florida, but was tied for the NL lead in losses this year with 16 and struggled in Game 3 against the Angels.
He allowed six runs in 3 2-3 innings to lose for the first time in his postseason career. Before Game 6, Baker was leaning toward using Hernandez but also said Game 4 winner Kirk Rueter or Game 5 starter Jason Schmidt would be ready.
One thing's for sure, both managers will have a quick hook and won't be hesitant about turning the game over to their overworked bullpens.
Seventh games have often been remembered for the outstanding matchups of starting pitchers. Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens dueled last year and two of the best Game 7s were tense 1-0 contests.
Jack Morris wouldn't give up the ball in his 10-inning win against Atlanta in 1991. And the last time the Giants faced a seventh game it was also a 1-0 thriller.
Ralph Terry outpitched Jack Sanford as the New York Yankees beat the Giants in 1962. The game wasn't decided until Bobby Richardson caught Willie McCovey's line drive with runners on second and third to end it.
Walter Johnson, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Dizzy Dean, Catfish Hunter, Mickey Lolich, Lew Burdette and Johnny Podres have also come through in Game 7 starts.
The game could mark the end of an era in San Francisco. Baker's contract is up at the end of the season and could leave after 10 years at the helm of the Giants. Former MVP Jeff Kent and GM Brian Sabean also could become free agents.
"I'm just thinking about what's going to happen, how wonderful it would be for us to win," Baker said. "I'll think about all that stuff later. You'd be cheating yourself, your organization, the city your team, if you let yourself think about anything else other than what's at hand."
Both teams exceeded expectations this season, but after making it this far, nothing short of a championship will be enough.
"Our main goal is to win it all," Angels shortstop David Eckstein said. "That's what we're focused on right now. Anything less, I know the guys in the clubhouse won't be satisfied."
The home team has won the last seven Game 7s in the World Series
since Pittsburgh won 4-1 at Baltimore in 1979. The Angels have
history on their side in another way, too. Six of the last seven
times a team came home down 3-2 in the Series, the home team won