Purgatory Online

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Angels 10, Giants 4. What can I say, except that the Angels did almost every single thing right last night. That was obviously true on offense - they stayed aggressive on the bases and hit line drives, took advantage of defensive alignments (the Erstad-Salmon double steal was particularly nice), and kept the pressure on until the last out was made. I actually wonder if the double steal was in some way related to Jeter's taking third in the ALDS - maybe Erstad recognized that the situation was similar.

It may be, however, that it was Scott Schoeneweis that gave the Angels the gift that keeps on giving last night. I thought he pitched very well, throwing ball one to a couple of hitters but never falling behind 2-0 or 3-1. In fact, he didn't throw very many pitches to any one batter, retiring six with only 16 pitches and letting Scioscia save Rodriguez, Weber, and Percival for tonight, while still having Schoeneweis himself available to pitch to Bonds in the late innings.

I suppose the bad news, if there is some, is that Lofton, Kent, and Aurilia are showing a little more ability to get on base in front of Bonds. After three games, though, Benito Santiago is 2 for 13 (.154) with two singles. I know he was the NLCS MVP, but he's also about 608 years old, and with the way Bonds is hitting the ball it's making more and more sense to walk Bonds, even with runners on and less than 2 out, and make Santiago try to do the damage.