Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 26, 2002 · Page 18
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 18

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 26, 2002
Page 18
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Page 18 — Saturday, October 26, 2002 WORLD SERIES ,3fnhiana Gazette Lofton sparks Giants' offense By JAMIE McCAULEY AP Sports Writer ANAHEIM, Calif. — Kenny Lofton makes San Francisco's offense go. After a rough start in the World Series, the Giants' leadoff hitter is once • again their spark plug. He has helped his team get within one victory of its first championship since 1954. Game 6 is tonight at Edison Field. In Games 4 and 5 combined, Lofton was 6-for-10 and scored four runs. He hit a two-run triple and scored three times Thursday night as the Giants beat the Angels 16-4 to go ahead in the Series 3-2. Yet in the first three games, Lofton was pretty much miserable. He went O-for-3, l-for-5 and O-for-4, scoring only once. But his latest performances at the plate have boosted his World Series batting average to .318. "I'm just trying to do what I can do to try and help the team," Lofton said. "I feel like I've got my stroke. Everybody's doing their part, and that's what it takes to be a winner." Lofton spoke before the Series how he knew teammate Reggie Sanders would get out of his offensive funk, so why would he think anything differently for himself? Lofton has picked ideal times to come up big, too, sparking key rallies with his bat and his speed around the basepaths. He broke out of a slump in the NL championship series to get the se- ries-winning hit after a three-game hitiess drought. He had three hits as the Giants eliminated St. Louis in five games, sending his team into its first World Series in 13 years. . "Right now, he's setting the table for us, big time," Sanders said. "It makes all the difference when you have someone like Kenny getting on in front of our 3-4-5 hitters." Lofton's experience doesn't hurt either. He's in the playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons. The 35- year-old Lofton joined the Giants in a July 28 trade with the Chicago White Sox for two minor league pitchers, but he spent the past four seasons with Cleveland. He hit .267 in 47 regular-season games for San Francisco, which was looking for a leadoff man to spark the offense. He took over in center field, where the Giants had a hole, and reached base with the kind of regularity the team hadn't seen from its leadoff hitter in some time. "Kenny is a big part of why and how we got things going. He's our spark," said catcher Benito Santiago, who bats fifth behind Barry Bonds. Lofton refused to dwell on his struggles in the batter's box. "Nothing was failing in," Lofton said. "I just told myself to be patient and keep playing. Honestly, my approach didn't change a bit after those first two games. I just kept swinging." Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia attributes some of Lofton's success in Kenny Lofton was 6-for-10 and scored four runs as the Giants won Games 4 and 5 to take a 3-2 lead over Anaheim in the World Series. (AP photo) the Series to poor pitching. "With Lofton, when we've gotten ahead, we haven't been able to put him away," Scioscia said. "At times, we're getting behind in the count and coming back, giving him some pitches to hit." And Lofton has taken advantage of his chances. His opponents know he's dangerous. "Just like with both offenses, you get mat leadoff guy out there on base enough, it's going to be tough for the opposition just because of the guys coming up behind him," Angels right fielder Tim Salmon said. "Especially in that lineup, if he gets on base, now you're always going to be in that situation whether or not you want to pitch to Bonds. "No doubt, he sets the tone." Scioscia believes day off will help Angels By JOHN NADEL AP Sports Writer ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Anaheim Angels got just what manager Mike Scioscia believed they needed — a day off. Now, the Angels need two victories to win the World Series. One loss and they're done. 'At this stage, everybody's exhausted," Angels outfielder Tim Salmon told reporters Friday. "Our families are exhausted. I'm sure you guys are exhausted. A day off is good." Salmon was one of the few Angels at Edison Field on Friday, showing up for treatment. The team had planned an optional workout, but Scioscia nixed that on the plane ride home from San Francisco, where the Angels lost 16-4 in Game 5 on Thursday night to fall behind the Giants 3-2. "We felt it was much more important for these guys to mentally get a rest," Scioscia said. "We didn't want anyone to come in," hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said. "Just being able to stay home, turn their cellular phones off, watching 'Gilligan's Island' or something will be good to get their minds off this. They sense we're coming back to the Rally Monkey, the clappers, the fans. We've got it all going for us." Game 6 will be played tonight at Edison Field. If the Angels win, a seventh game is set for Sunday night. Eleven teams have been down 3-2 coming home and won Games 6 and 7 to win the Series, including six in die last 20 years — St. Louis in 1982, Kansas City in 1985, the New York Mets in 1986, Minnesota in 1987 and 1991, and Arizona last year. The Angels hope to become No. 12. "I didn't know that, but that gives us more (confidence)," said Kevin Appier, who will start Game 6 for the Angels against Russ Ortiz. The Angels have reached this point despite a 6-14 start to the season, a 20-game winning streak by AL West foe Oakland, and losses to the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins in the openers of earlier playoff rounds. And they lost to the Giants in the Series opener as well. So' two straight wins doesn't seem to be a lot to ask, especially at home, where the Angels are 6-1 in the postseason after going 54-27 during the regular season. "I think it's just the character of the club, the personalities, the individuals," Salmon said of the Angels' ability to respond after losses. "Sosh, the tone he sets, just kind of keeping things loose, coming out, just really taking it one game at a time. "I think the difference has been just the players. Guys don't really seem to get too high or too low." That's a perfect description of fluid outfielder Garret Anderson, who hasn't been his normally productive self during the Series. Anderson, the Angels' cleanup batter and lone All-Star, hit .306 with 29 homers and 123 RBIs this season. But he's been held to seven hits — all singles — and three RBIs in the five games against the Giants. And he's come to bat with 22 runners on base. "He's hit some balls hard — he's centering balls," Hatcher said. "He's not swinging bad." Anderson is batting .292 in the Series and .306 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 14 postseason games. Not bad, but the Angels need more run production from him now, especially the way the Giants are scoring. "He made an adjustment before the game last night, he talked to me about it," said Hatcher, saying it had to do with Anderson's hands. "He's going to be fine. He's'just not getting his hits. "He's not feeling the pressure. He's hit some balls hard. They're just not finding the holes. There's nothing else he can do. He's kept some big rallies going with some hits." Salmon was having a tough time before breaking out with two homers among four hits in Anaheim's 11-10 victory in Game 2. He's hitting .350 with two homers and five RBIs in the Series. "Garret, I don't know, seems like he's hit decent," Salmon said. "I know he probably hasn't had the big hits that he wanted. "He's been a guy who's carried us all year. I'm sure every team that we play is focusing on not really letting him beat them." Ortiz, Appier hope to rebound from awful outings in Game 2 By JOSH DUBOW AP Sports Writer ANAHEIM, Calif. — Russ Ortiz started the San Francisco Giants on their postseason run. Now, he gets the chance to finish it. Ortiz will start Game 6 of the World Series against the Anaheim Angels tonight as the Giants look to wrap up their first championship since 1954. "I don't think I've ever really measured significance until after the fact," Ortiz said Friday. "Because knowing myself, thinking about it too much would allow me to deter my thought process as far as getting ready for the game." Ortiz did just fine at the start of the postseason, lie won the opening game in the first round against Atlanta and the Game 5 finale against the Braves. He struggled his last two starts, especially in Game 2 against the Angels when he couldn't gel out of the second inning. Ortiz allowed seven runs and nine hits in 1 2-3 innings. "I don't see it as like I had a b;id start, now I have to change everything, I've got to become a completely different pitcher," Only. said. "It was a bad game. It was frustrating at that point in time. I feel I've been able to bounce back pretty good and learn from my mistakes." Angels starter Kevin Appier will try to do the same. He also struggled in Game 2, failing to get an out in the third inning, but Anaheim still won the game 11-10. Appier said except for some slight mechanical adjustments, he won't alter too much else. "You don't change your approach," Appier said. "You know the situation is do or die. Hopefully, everything works out for us." After watching his starting pitchers get battered around in the first five games of the Series, Angels manager Mike Scioscia hopes Appier learned something from his poor start in Game 2. Given a 5-0 lead after the first inning, Appier left after allowing five runs in two-plus innings. He gave up homers to Jeff Kent, David Bell and Reggie Sanders. "It gives us a little bit of confidence," Sanders said. "But we try not to focus on what happened last time, because he could be a totally different pitcher." Scioscia thought Appier was too worried about what Barry Bonds and the Giants could do instead of pitching to his own strengths. "Kevin has an uncanny knack of being able to move the hall around, change speeds, use his breaking ball at any count. I think he got away from that a little bit," Scioscia said. "I think he needs to go out and pitch his ballgame and not worry as much about what the Giants' scouting re- port is." Appier might have spent too much time thinking about his first start. Because he had little experience against the Giants, Appier spent more time than usual watching video and going over scouting reports before his start. What he saw on tape was backed up in person: The Giants are a tough team to pitch to. "The depth of their lineup has been really confirmed the most," Appier said. "They're disciplined, but at the same time, they're hacking if you leave the ball over the plate. They're tough to face." Appier hasn't been the only Angels' starter to struggle against the Giants. In the five Series games, Anaheim's starters have pitched 21 2-3 innings and allowed 31 hits and 22 runs for a 9.14 ERA. After shutting down Minnesota in the AI.CS, the Angels' rotation is a big reason why the team is facing elimination in the World Series. "Our starters have been terrific all year," Scioscia said. "They haven't pitched deep enough into a game. If they don't do that, your bullpen is taxed a little more. Things can get thin." The depth could be even more taxed because of a wrist injury that could keep Ramon Ortiz from starting Game 7 if the Angels make it that far. Kevin Appier hopes for belter results tonight after allowing five runs in two-plus innings in Game 2. (AP photo) Television ratings plummet to all-time low By The Associated Press ANAHEIM, Calif. — A blowout in Game 5 of the World Series produced another new television ratings low. San Francisco's 16-4 victory over Anaheim on Thursday night got a LO.O rating and 17 share on Fox, Nielsen Media Research said Friday. The rating, the lowest ever for Game 5 and the second-lowest for any game, was down 31 percent from Game 5 last year, the New York Yan- kees'3-2, 12-inning victory over Arizona, which got a 14.4/24. This year's overnight was down 24 percent from (he last regional World Series, the 2000 Subway Series between the Yankees and New York Mels. The Yankees' 4-2 Series-winning viclory in Game 5 that year got a 13.1/21. This year's World Series also has drawn record lows for an opener (9.4), Game 2 (11.9), Game 3 (10.8) and Game 4 (11.8). Before this year, the record low for any game was the 10.4 for last year's opener, which beat the 11.3 for Game 1 in 1997 between Cleveland and Florida. Fox's five-game average of 10.8/17 is 25 percent below last year's five- game average of 14.4/24. While last year's World Series went seven games, its 15.7 rating was the third- lowest ever, ahead of only the 2000 Subway Series (12.4) and the Yankees' four-game sweep of San Diego in 1998 (H.I). Excluding the markets of the teams I involved this year and last year, the Eastern time zone was down 34 percent, from a 13.7 to a 9.0. Central decreased 18 percent (13.1 to 10.8), Mountain declined 31 percent {14.7 to 10.1) and Pacific increased 10 percent (15.1 to 16.6). Fox even lost the night in prime time to CBS, which had a 12.6/19 to Fox's 9.7/15 from 8-11 p.m. EOT. Competition includes "Friends" on NBC, "Survivor" on CBS and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" — the lop-rated show this season. "Thursday night provides incredibly tough prime-time competition from the other networks," Fox Sports president Ed Goren said. "Combine that with the prevailing regional interest we've experienced and an ex- tremely lopsided game, and the year- to-year decline for Game 5 is not surprising." The rating is the percentage of TV households in the United Stales watching a broadcast, and each national point represents 1,055,000 homes. The share is the percentage watching a program among those households with televisions on at the time. Bat boy to remain The son of Dusty Baker will be allowed to stay in the Giants' dugout this weekend, although the manager will keep a more watchful eye on the young bat boy. Baker spoke with the commissioner's office Friday about the near-acci- dent in Game 5 Thursday night in which 3'/z-year-old Darren Baker wandered into a play at the plate and almost got run over. The close call sparked debate over whether Darren was too young to be so close to the game. "It's not going to happen again," Baker said after arriving at Edison Field, where San Francisco plays Anaheim in Game 6 tonight. "I'm hoping that he and other kids aren't prohibited from being in the dugout. I'm not proud of it. I don't like seeing my son al! over TV in that light. Some people think it's cute, but I don't." Baker wants to keep his son in the dugoui. "I just have to monitor him a little closer," he said. Giants can wrap up title tonight By BEN WALKER AP Baseball Writer ANAHEIM, Calif. — Funny how a little boy can mean so much to a bunch of big leaguers. Especially grown-up guys trying to win the World Series. So when Barry Bonds and the Sari Francisco Giants try tonight to win their first title, they'll have their good-luck charm in the dugout — 3%-year-old bat boy Darren Baker, son of manager Dusty Baker. Darren made the trip to Anaheim, and is all set for Game 6 against the Angels. The Giants are 8-0 when he's in the dugout, but when he runs off the bench, the adventure really begins. He broke loose Thursday night in a 16-4 romp over the Angels at Pacific Bell Park, heading out to retrieve Kenny Lofton's bat. Trouble was, three Giants were running the bases at the time. Quick thinking by J.T. Snow, who scooped up Darren by the collar of his black jacket, prevented the wobbly boy from being run over at the plate by David Bell. "My wife was a little upset last night, not terribly upset," Baker said Friday. "It was a strange situation. It's not going to happen again." "I'm hoping they don't come up with a Darren Baker rule that prevents kids from being in the dugout. I'm not proud of it. I don't like seeing my son all over TV in that right. Some people think it's cute, but I don't." Baker said he got a call from Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office, saying Darren could keep his job. "He's going to be allowed to be bat boy this weekend. (Alderson) said he realized the importance it is to our team, to everything else, my family, my son," Baker said. "I just have to monitor him a little closer." Said Alderson: "There is no prohibition, no directive or major league rule which prohibits someone that age serving as a bat boy." "We don't intend to prohibit it. But, on the other hand, I'm sure even Dusty would agree great care is appropriate for someone of his age under those circumstances. I'm sure that care will exist and had been arranged, and last night was a onetime occurrence." Momentum now back on its side, San Francisco hopes Russ Ortiz can' win the franchise's first championship since 1954. He'll take on Kevin Appier, the Rally Monkey and those thumping ThunderStix. Bonds was not at the ballpark on a drizzly Friday as the Giants and Angels took a break. Both teams deemed rest more important than a final workout. "At this stage, everybody's exhausted. Our families are exhausted," said Angels outfielder Tim Salmon, who stopped by for treatment. "A day off is good." ; Despite light rain in the late afternoon, the weather was supposed to clear up by Saturday. The chance of a rainout was remote — since opening their Anaheim stadium on April 9, 1966, with an exhibition against San Francisco, the Angels have had only 10 home rainouts, and never once on a Saturday. Resilient all season, Anaheim realizes one more comeback can happen. In fact, seven teams in the previous 23 seasons have overcome 3-2 deficits to win the World Series. Arizona did it last year against the New York Yankees. "Yeah, maybe that adds a little bit more to it," Appier said. "Obviously, we think that it's quite possible for us to still be able to pull it off." Appier faces the daunting task of stopping Bonds and the Giants, who broke loose in Game 5. Jeff Kent homered twice and scored four times and Bonds doubled twice and singled as San Francisco tied for the second-highest run total in a Series game. The Angels and Giants already have combined for 17 home runs,' matching a Series record. Anaheim is batting .328 through five games and San Francisco is at .308. "I think the hitting in this Series has probably exceeded what I imagined coming in because of the type' of pitching staffs that both clubs have," Angels manager Mike Scioscia- said. "That's baseball. You're going to find stretches like that." Bonds' three hits made him 6-for- 12 with three homers in the Series. He also has drawn 10 walks, sbc of them intentional — and that's against a team that issued only 24 intentional passes all season, tied for the fewest in the majors. Appier hasn't exactly had much luck with Bonds, either. Bonds was 4-for-7 with two home runs and two walks lifetime against Appier going into Game 2, then drew two more j walks. Game 2 was a matchup between Ortiz and Appier, and it turned into a' slugfest. The Angels wound up with an ll-10win, with Ortiz lasting just 1 1-3 innings.

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