It's great to see an organization wins its first World Championship. I remember in 1980 when my Phillies won theirs, it was a catharsis for the whole organization. It was great to see Glaus get the MVP. Some will say that Bonds had better numbers, but you can point to his numbers since the Angel comeback started yesterday, add in his poor defense, and Glaus is a better call. I do feel bad for Barry. This may have been his last, best shot.
To sum up game 7, the Angels pitching dominated. Their offense bunched a few hits in the second and third, and that's all that they needed (only one hit after that). Anderson's shot with his overall poor play of late was almost shocking. Who would expect this team to win with the way that their number 4 hitter and left-fielder was dominated by the Giants' number 4 hitter and left-fielder. Rodriguez came in and pitched what might have been the most important inning, the eighth with the numbers 2, 3, and 5 hitters whiffing and only one ball called among them.
The Giants can feel good about how their bullpen kept them close. Chad Zerbe came in in the 3rd with men on 1st and second, none out, and 3 runs already across. He got the next three in order (thanks to a great play by David Bell) with none scoring. Kirk Rueter pitched four innings of one-hit ball leaving one wondering why he did not start or at least come in while the game was a bit closer. Santiago and Snow had big nights going 5-for-7 with a walk combined. Not much else good can be said for the offense tonight. Bonds was not allowed to be a factor due to the top three hitters' inability to produce: 0-for-12 with a walk and four strikeouts. The odd choose of Feliz as the starting DH proved ill-advised as he and Shinjo combined for an 0-for-4 night (with 3 strikeouts) from the DH spot, 9th--maybe the pitchers should have hit for themselves. The Giants will likely have a much different feel next year. Baker--Dusty and Darren--seems gone. The GM Sabean may be, too. Kent will likely leave as Bell is moved to 2nd and Feliz is primed to start at third. Others like Goodwin, Lofton, Sanders, and Mueller may leave through free agency. Hernandez was trade bait all season and will likely be jettisoned.
The Angels will likely keep their core of players with only role players Palmeiro, Cook, Ochoa possibly leaving. This team is good and young and may enjoy future success in the postseason.
Now to my predictions:
1) Hernandez vs. Lackey does not inspire me. But I think that Hernandez may be a better gamble just because he will be able to eat more innings if it's close.
Well, that would have been a bad bet. Hernandez pitched poorly and was left in for far too long as it was at 2+ innings. Lackey gave a gutsy performance: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
2) Both bullpens are now iffy, but I think the Giants have a few guys who are smaller question marks.
Both bullpens performed extremely well tonight. The Giants may have been a bit better, but it didn't matter.
3) Giants win 7-5.
The 5 runs for the Angels was in the right ballpark, but the Giants never really got much offense going with just 4 men in scoring position all night.