ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- The Anaheim Angels have
crashed the party by bouncing one of its most prominent
A surprising season turned into a magical one as the Angels
scored a Division Series-record eight runs in the fifth inning
and stunned the New York Yankees, 9-5, eliminating the defending
American League champions in four games.
The Angels, who never had won a postseason series, beat the
Yankees at their own game -- solid starting pitching, good
defense and timely hitting. Anaheim advanced to the League
Championship Series, where it will meet the winner of the
The fact that the Angels beat New York is not nearly as
startling as how they did it, bouncing back from a heartbreaking
Game One loss and repeatedly rallying against a team that
appeared in five of the last six World Series.
In this one, they erased a pair of early one-run deficits and
broke open the game with the biggest inning in Division Series
history. Shawn Wooten opened the fifth inning with a homer off
Yankees starter David Wells (0-1), tying it at 2-2.
"I think the first game we played at Yankee Stadium gave us the
experience we needed," Spiezio said. "We lost, but we just took
it from there. It really doesn't matter who we play now, we'll
be ready to prove ourselves again like we have all year."
"I can't say how much respect I have my team, they never gave
up," Angels manager Mike Scioscia added. "They played the game
the way it should be played. Fortunatly, we executed the way we
have all year and we came up with the win. I think the heart
of this club came out, and I hope that everyone got a chance to
The Yankees, who won championships in 1996 and each year from
1998-2000, lost the World Series in seven games last year.
After compiling the best record in the AL this season, they were
heavy favorites to get past the Angels, who were making their
first postseason appearance since 1986.
When shortstop David Eckstein caught rookie Nick Johnson's
pop-up with two aboard to end the game, the Angels celebrated
widly at the mound. After getting off to the worst 20-game
start in franchise history, Anaheim finds itself in the ALCS for
the fourth time in its 42-year history.
"I've been here for eight years and the fans have been behind me
100 percent, even through some rough years," Percival said.
"They've always been there for me. ... We got somewhere this
organization has never been and we're getting ready to go
somewhere that we've never been."
"It's great, I'm excited," Salmon said. "I don't know what else
to say. I'm out of words. I was a part of it, but it was a
25-man effort the whole year. We played the Yankees and that
might have been good for us, to play the best right from the
Anaheim starter Jarrod Washburn (1-0) allowed two runs - one
earned - and six hits in five innings.
Wells was hurt by his defense, but all eight runs he allowed
were earned. The veteran lefthander lost for the first time in
five career Division Series decisions.
The Yankees broke on top, 1-0, in the second on an RBI double by
Robin Ventura, but Ron Coomer stopped at third and was stranded
there by Juan Rivera and Alfonso Soriano. The Angels drew even
in the third when Soriano booted a potential inning-ending
double play grounder.
New York regained the lead in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by
Derek Jeter but could have had more if not for a couple of good
defensive plays by left fielder Anderson.
Wooten's blast to left-center field tied it, 2-2, and Benji Gil
singled one out later. David Eckstein's base hit put runners on
the corners and Erstad blooped a single into center field to
put Anaheim ahead.
Salmon made it a two-run advantage with a base hit to left and
Anderson lined a single to right-center for a 5-2 lead. After
Wells got Troy Glaus to pop out, Spiezio ripped an RBI single to
left to finished the lefthander.
Ramiro Mendoza came on and allowed Wooten's third base hit of
the afternoon. Molina lined a double off the wall in left that
scored Spiezio and Wooten for a 9-2 cushion.
"I think Wooten hit the home run that got us going," Salmon
said. "That's been the trademark of this club. A guy gets on
base and before you know it, it was like every time there's a
"Boomer looked like he was on his way today," Yankees manager
Joe Torre. "All of a sudden, something happened in that fifth
inning, where it got really ugly for us. I have no reasoning
for it or excuse for it. It was just not up to our standards
and we paid the price."
New York got back a run in the sixth on Jorge Posada's home run
but missed a chance to put some pressure on Anaheim in the
With the Yankees on the verge of getting back in the contest,
Rodriguez uncorked a wild pitch allowing a run to score. But he
rebounded to strike out Posada and retire Johnson around a
four-pitch walk to Mondesi.
Rodriguez struck out two in the eighth and gave way to Percival
in the ninth.
Percival allowed an RBI single to Mondesi but got Johnson,
sparking the celebration.
"Nobody really believed in us before the season started," Gil
said. "Most people picked us to finish last in a tough West
Division, but we made the playoffs and now we've beaten the
"It's definitely a great feeling to have the opportunity to play
in the ALCS and maybe the World Series," Eckstein added. "Like
we've done all year, we'll just focus on taking it one game at
The Angels hit .376 in the series, scored 31 runs and hit nine
homers. That damage came against New York's vaunted veteran
staff, which posted an 8.21 ERA.
"We just ran into a team that is red-hot," Giambi said. "We
fell a little short. They had guys that stepped up and had big
series. We had our opportunities. We scored runs, but they
kept grinding it out. They kept getting hit after hit in that
inning and we never could shut them down."
The Yankees last failed to reach the World Series in 1997, when
they lost to the Cleveland Indians in five games in the Division
"If they keep playing like that, I don't see any team beating
them," Jeter said of the Angels. "They just do everything
right. They hit everything that was thrown up there. They hit,
they pitched well, ran the bases well and they played defense.
They just flat-out beat us."
"We'll be back, mark that down, we'll be back," Yankees owner
George Steinbrenner added.