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AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES * ANGELS VS. MINNESOTA

All's Quiet in Heart of Lineup

Baseball: Angels get zero production from Salmon, Anderson and Glaus, who are hitless against the Twins.

October 09, 2002|JASON REID | TIMES STAFF WRITER

MINNEAPOLIS — Even the Angels figured their offense would slow down a little in the American League championship series, considering they couldn't take the New York Yankee pitching staff to the Metrodome.

What they didn't expect, though, was zero production from heart-of-the-order batters Tim Salmon, Garret Anderson and Troy Glaus in Game 1, helping the Minnesota Twins hang on for a 2-1 victory Tuesday night before 55,562.

Salmon, Anderson and Glaus--the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 batters--went hitless in 11 at-bats combined against Minnesota starter Joe Mays and closer Eddie Guardado, with only Salmon reaching base on a one-out walk in the ninth. Anderson flied out and Glaus struck out looking with Chone Figgins, running for Salmon, at first, providing a familiar sight in ending a frustrating game for the Angels.

Mays and Guardado breezed through the rest of the club as well, but the Angels' big run producers usually don't go so quietly.

"You get used to those guys producing so much," second baseman Adam Kennedy said. "You kind of come to expect it, so, yeah, you're surprised a little. It's not like it's never happened before, but I wouldn't count on that being the case too long."

Maybe they were tired from celebrating so much against the Yankees.

In the Angels' AL division series victory over the Yankees, Salmon, Anderson and Glaus batted .321 with six home runs and 14 runs batted in. It looked so easy then and so difficult Tuesday.

The problem?

"Pretty much, to sum up it, Mays was throwing strikes and not throwing anything over the plate," said Anderson, who grounded out twice and flied out twice. "If you hit your spots, and don't make any mistakes over the plate, you're going to have some success, and that's what he did."

Scouts said the Angels (Salmon, Anderson and Glaus, in particular) pounded mistakes and good pitches in beating the Yankees, 3-1, in the best-of-five series, but Mays' pitches were a little too good.

"It's been a long time since I've seen our guys that off-balanced," hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said. "They just weren't getting good swings at all off Mays. They weren't getting good reads off of him.

"He was making good pitches, all on the black all night, and it was tough. The whole game was like that. When you get good pitching, the offense wants to do good, so I think our guys were frustrated by that."

Watching Mays throw changeups on the corners for strikes certainly wasn't fun for Salmon, Anderson and Glaus, but what could they do?

"Really, I don't get frustrated, I just kept waiting for him to leave something out over the plate," Anderson said. "It just didn't happen."

Patience is usually the correct move in such situations, but patience only helps so much if a pitcher stays in a groove. Although their results weren't good, Salmon, Anderson and Glaus had a good approach at the plate, the Angels said.

"He just did a great job shutting us down," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "Our guys went up there ... we just couldn't put any pressure on those guys."

Of course, they could have used help.

David Eckstein and Darin Erstad provided only a tiny spark at the top of the order, the Nos. 1 and 2 batters going two for eight without a walk.

"It's definitely not all on those guys," Eckstein said. "We've played as a team all year, we don't just rely on one guy, and that's not going to change now. I definitely could have done some things better with my at-bats, and that's what I'm going to try to do the rest of the series.

"But our guys [Salmon, Anderson and Glaus] will definitely make their adjustments. They're going to figure out what they need to do and do it. That's what they've done all year. We know that they're going to have better results because we know what they're capable of doing."

*

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Drop-off

The heart of the Angel lineup was held hitless in Game 1, a sharp contrast to their offensive performance against the Yankees:

*--* PLAYER GAME 1 VS. YANKEES Salmon 0-3 (0 RBIs) 5-19 (7 RBIs) Anderson 0-4 (0 RBIs) 7-18 (4 RBIs) Glaus 0-4 (0 RBIs) 5-16 (3 RBIs) Totals 0-11 (0 RBIs) 17-53 (14 RBIs)

*--*

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