BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Anaheim Angels skipper Mike
Scioscia found a way to escape the hot seat - have New York
Yankees manager Joe Torre replace him there.
One night after a series of questionable bullpen decisions made
Scioscia the subject of a frenzied inquiry, Torre opened himself
up to second guessing with his calls late in New York's 8-6
loss to Anaheim.
In the opener of their best-of-five American League Division
Series on Tuesday, the Angels surrendered a late lead as
Scioscia never called on closer Troy Percival.
Twenty-four hours later, Torre raised eyebrows by leaving in
starter-turned-reliever Orlando Hernandez to start his fifth
inning of relief and paid the price.
With the Yankees leading 5-4 in the eighth, Hernandez (0-1)
surrendered back-to-back home runs to Garret Anderson and Troy
Glaus to put the Angels ahead.
Hernandez was strong over his first four innings, but with six
outs left, Torre usually turns the game over to veteran setup
men Mike Stanton and Steve Karsay.
He had Stanton, who was 5-1 with a 1.70 ERA in 50 postseason
appearances, warming up but opted to let Hernandez, a
righthander, pitch to the lefthanded-hitting Anderson.
After Anderson's homer tied the game, Torre stayed with
Hernandez against Glaus and bypassed Karsay. The Angels'
slugger crushed a 3-1 pitch, driving it over the center field
"They asked me how I felt and I felt fine," Hernandez said through
an interpreter. "What occurred was what was going to occur. Things
don't always come out the way you want them but at the same time,
I'm not disappointed in my job. I'm proud of the job I did."
"I did expect to come out (and start the eighth)," Stanton said.
"But I always expect to come out because I don't want to be
caught off guard in that case. As far as Joe being criticized,
he made a call that didn't work out. Managers do that. We all
have the utmost confidence in Joe's ability to call games. It
was just one that didn't work out."
The Angels added a run in the eighth but the Yankees did rally
against the Anaheim bullpen. Unlike Tuesday, Scioscia turned to
Percival in the eighth and the veteran closer struck out Derek
Jeter looking on a questionable call with the bases loaded.
Percival allowed a run in the ninth before retiring Raul Mondesi
on a popout with the tying run at first base.
After a day off, the series resumes Friday in Anaheim. The
Yankees send righthander Mike Mussina to the mound while the
Angels counter with Ramon Ortiz.
"Definitely to get one in their park, that's huge," Anderson
said. "I'm not going to go and say we're going to run the table
on them in Anaheim. But to take one in somebody else's park in
the playoffs, you've accomplished something - especially in this
park where they make things happen."
"Our focus right now is on Game Three," Angels shortstop David
Eckstein said. "If we are looking at Game Four, we already are
going to get beaten on Friday night, so the only thing we can
worry about is Friday night and winning that game. Whatever
happens from there, be ready to play on Saturday."
Game Two was another see-saw affair in which each team displayed
its resiliency. Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, who was 5-0 in
September, was rocked for four runs and eight hits in three
Angels starter Kevin Appier was ineffective also, allowing three
runs and five hits in five innings. He walked three in his
third career postseason appearance against New York.
Francisco Rodriguez, a 20-year-old reliever who did not make his
major league debut until September 18, surrendered a two-run
homer to Alfonso Soriano in the sixth that put New York ahead,
5-4. But Rodriguez, who retired the final four batters he
faced, recorded the win when the offense rallied.
Hernandez got ahead of Anderson 0-1 but the Angels' cleanup
hitter drilled the Cuban righthander's next offering over the
wall in right-center field to tie the score. After Glaus made
it 6-5 with his third homer of the series, Torre then went to
"I'm a fastball hitter, I hit off the fastball," Anderson said.
"So I'm constantly looking for fastballs. I'm not going to sit
up there and sit on different pitches all the time. I look for
a fastball, and hit off of it. Fortunately, he left one out
over the plate for me. The bat before that, he got a good pitch
after my fly to center. That time I just didn't miss the
"Obviously, off a guy like El Duque, especially from the right
side of the plate, you got to make sure he elevates the ball -
or get a pitch that's elevated," Glaus said. "In my first
at-bat he didn't elevate anything. The second pitch that
at-bat, he elevated a fastball - or third pitch I guess. It's
just a matter of not missing at that point."
Torre admitted being surprised at how quickly Hernandez
"He had great command," Torre said. "It was just one of those
things. These have been two exciting ballgames. But any time
any pitcher is cruising like he is, sure, you're always
Karsay got Scott Spiezio but surrendered a single to Shawn
Wooten. Pinch runner Chone Figgins stole second and Bengie
Molina followed with a base hit. Torre then called upon
Stanton, who promptly surrendered a sacrifice fly to Adam
"It surprised me a little bit," Karsay said of Hernandez's
collapse. "He was in there for four innings already. I think
he had a good idea of how he was approaching them and what he
wanted to do. I'm sure they were sitting on certain pitches
when they went up there in the eighth inning. He made a
couple of mistakes. The middle of this lineup, when you
make mistakes, they're going to hit home runs."
"There's no reason to think that Duque wasn't going to finish
the job," Stanton said. "He had pitched brilliantly up until
that point. He just made a couple of mistakes. We all do it.
If Duque gets through that inning and Mo comes in in the ninth,
it's a great move. It's a situation that Joe made a call and
it just simply didn't work out."
Ben Weber got the first batter in the bottom of the eighth but
gave up back-to-back singles to Nick Johnson and Mondesi. Weber
suffered a sprained right index finger trying to barehand
Mondesi's base hit and Scioscia decided against going to
Percival, opting for Brendan Donnelly - who surrendered a
decisive three-run homer to Bernie Williams on Tuesday.
Donnelly struck out pinch hitter John Vander Wal and Scioscia
went to Percival. The hard-throwing reliever's first pitch hit
Alfonso Soriano in the back to load the base but Percival froze
Jeter on a 1-2 pitch that looked outside. Jeter spun around to
have a word with plate umpire Doug Eddings.
"He thought the pitch was outside," Torre said. "You can't see
anything from the side. It's one of those things, when you get
the two strikes, you're sort of in a situation where if a pitch
is missed, that's tough luck. I don't think -- I think the
umpires all try hard, and sometimes they miss them. I haven't
seen that one, so I can't tell you what that was all about. But
he thought it was outside."
Jeff Weaver, another starter-turned-reliever, began the ninth
but allowed one-out singles to Anderson and Glaus and an RBI
double to Scott Spiezio.
In the bottom of the ninth, Percival allowed singles to Jason
Giambi and Robin Ventura around a strikeout of Williams. Jorge
Posada blooped a base hit to left to get New York within 8-6 but
rookie Nick Johnson struck out swinging and Mondesi popped out.
Percival, who made only four eighth-inning appearances in the
regular season, recorded his first career postseason save.
"I think it's important for us to keep Percy in a very, very
controlled situation," Scioscia said. "Four outs for us is the
max. I think it has to be something big if we're going to bring
him in before that. This is the fifth time this season we've
really brought him in in the eighth inning. He got a huge out
for us, obviously, to close out that eighth."
"Pretty ironic," Percival said. "If I would have been there in
the eighth inning last night, who knows what would have
happened. Fortunately, I got a chance to get in there today."
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the first on Tim Salmon's first
career postseason home run and extended that advantage to 3-0 in
the second on a homer by Spiezio and an RBI single by Benji
Wooten's two-out RBI single in the third put Anaheim ahead by
four but a homer by Jeter in the third began the Yankees'
Rookie Juan Rivera blooped a two-run single to center in the
fourth and New York took the lead in the sixth when Soriano
followed a throwing error by second baseman Gil with a homer to
left that gave the Yankees a 5-4 edge.