Out of the Frying Pan
by Jessica Polko
Fox began the broadcast with a fairy tale description of the contest, which I believe was set to music from the animated Fox picture Anastasia. Warner Brothers' recording artist Josh Groban sang the national anthem. At first we were skeptical given all of the poor renditions to which we've recently been subjected and the odd arrangement of the music, reminiscent of Mannheim Steamroller. However, Groban's voice was very melodic and he gave a strong performance.
The first inning moved quickly with both starting pitchers retiring the first three batters. I was quite impressed that Sprint PCS prepared an ad with a monkey to run during the game. Perhaps the resemblance to the rally monkey was only coincidence, but in their campaign against cellular static, the Sprint ad portrayed a husband who'd brought home "a monkey with a cold" rather than "a movie, you know something old".
Barry Bonds came to the plate to lead off the top of the second. He took two balls, one high and one low, swung and missed for a strike, and then hit a homer to right field in his first World Series at-bat. Jarrod Washburn didn't seem overly concerned and shrugged, but after inducing Benito Santiago to ground out, he allowed another solo shot on his first pitch to Reggie Sanders. Washburn reportedly missed Thursday's workout with the flu, however his slipups didn't seem related to illness.
Anaheim wasn't about to allow the Giants to remain alone on the scoreboard, so Troy Glaus responded in the bottom of the inning with a solo homer of his own. Fullmer made it on base behind Glaus' homer and stole second, though the replays indicated he may have been tagged out on the steal. However, Fullmer was stranded at second when the inning ended.
Washburn retired the first three batters in the top of the third, bringing the Angels up to bat down 2-1. Adam Kennedy lead off the bottom of the inning with a double deep into right which hit above the E on the PEPSI sign only a few feet away from the seats. He advanced to third on the next out but was unable to score before the inning ended.
Although there were a few baserunners in the following innings, the next notable event occurred in the bottom of the fifth. First baseman J.T. Snow ran over to the warning track to catch a foul pop off the bat of Tim Salmon. Snow slipped and fell on his backside, but he still was able to get up and catch the ball for the second out of the inning. Making that out was fairly important for the Giants as Darin Erstad was on first after a single. San Francisco exited the fifth still in the lead 2-1.
Perhaps invigorated by his defensive exploits, Snow hit a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the sixth to cushion the Giants' lead. As if by clockwork, Glaus responded in the bottom of the inning with a second solo homer. Brad Fullmer, up after Glaus, walked, advanced to second on a ground out, and then scored on a single by Kennedy. Consequently, the inning ended the way it began with Anaheim trailing by one.
Garret Anderson made a nice catch on a Kenny Lofton flyball in the top of the seventh, helping Brendan Donnelly retire the Giants one-two-three. Bonds walked in the eighth, making him the only baserunner allowed by either bullpen in the final two innings. The Angels were not able to rally and the Giants won the game 4-3.
Although the outcome of the game didn't follow our prediction, I was pleased that Bonds experienced such success in his first World Series' game. Many members of the media continue to disparage him. However, every time I look around he's smiling like a little boy. He looks serious during his at-bats and on those rare occasions he fails to each base, but that's understandable; he takes pride in his work. Bonds shouldn't have to banter with the media to earn their respect.
Despite the Angels' loss, we'll continue to stand by our prediction of a seven game series. Looking back, Rally Monkey Syndrome dictates that Anaheim lose the first game in order to make a comeback in Game 2. The Angels will split the first two games as expected, simply in the opposite order.
We were somewhat surprised to learn during the broadcast that Dusty Baker had visited Disneyland with his son on Friday. Although he didn't exhibit any overt signs of fatigue, a trip to an amusement park, particularly one of that size, is an exhausting experience for all ages. I would have thought he might spend the time resting and preparing for what will likely be several long nights.
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