"I can't remember anyone going through our pen the way they did," Worrell said.
Added Sanders, "I don't think we let it get away. They just fought. What they did to us was amazing. That was like a nightmare. It could have been over, but they fought back."
An ashen Peter Magowan, principal owner of the Giants, was insulted and spat upon as he left Edison Field. He ate a late dinner and then had trouble sleeping. "My wife, thank goodness, had sleeping pills," he said. "I take them about three times a year. This was a sleeping-pill game. A few sleeping pills."
The World Series does not grant mulligans. San Francisco's window to win its first world title since moving westward in 1958 had been slammed shut, even if the Giants did take a 1-0 lead in the second inning of Game 7. Hernandez spit the lead right back, with two outs and nobody on base, walking Spiezio and surrendering a double to Bengie Molina. It marked the seventh time in the Series that Anaheim answered with a run in its next at bat after the Giants had scored. "We needed a stop," Aurilia said, "and we couldn't do it. They did it to us the whole Series."
An ineffective Hernandez yielded a three-run double to Anderson in the third inning without getting an out. Lackey—the first rookie to win a Game 7 in 93 years—Brendan Donnelly, Francisco Rodriguez and Troy Percival gave nothing to the Giants the rest of the way. Later, while the Angels were soaking themselves with their own supply of champagne, Black sat with Scioscia in the manager's office and said with a laugh, "How did we do that?" Not once did an Anaheim starting pitcher throw as many as six innings.
"You know how we did it?" Black decided. "When we needed to pitch well, we did. And when we didn't pitch well, our offense picked us up."
Said Aurilia, "What I'll remember about this Series is Game 6. I'll remember that we lost Game 6. They just beat us in Game 7. There's a big difference."
It wasn't a museum-quality World Series. It was a slapdash, entertaining collage of home runs (21), extra-base hits (45) and runs (85), Series records all. It was the modern game, two second-place finishers slugging it out in the shadow of a faux rock pile (the comedian Robin Williams took one look at Edison Field's Disneyfied landscape and called it "a miniature-golf course on steroids") while fans created a racket by smacking together inflatable sticks.
The din was never so great as it was at 8:19 PST on Sunday night, when Lofton, batting with two outs in the ninth, stroked a high fly ball into centerfield. As Erstad glided under it, suddenly he could not hear the noise from the crowd. He heard nothing except for one clear voice. It was the voice of his father, Chuck. It was not coming from the stands, where his father watched. It was coming from his childhood, far back to when his father taught him how to catch.
"Use two hands," is what he heard.