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Giants' Rotation Keeps Spinning Out of Control

Hernandez is the latest San Francisco starter to be knocked around by the Angels, allowing six runs in 32/3 innings.

October 23, 2002|Jason Reid | Times Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO -- Livan Hernandez said he wasn't especially upset about his performance Tuesday night in Game 3 of the World Series.

The San Francisco Giant right-hander pitched only 3 2/3 innings in the Angels' 10-4 victory before 42,707 at Pacific Bell Park, losing for the first time in seven career postseason decisions.

It was clearly a bad night for Hernandez and the Giants, who now trail the best-of-seven series, 2-1, but there was only so much he could do against the Angels.

"They've got a good team and I know that," said Hernandez, who threw only 47 strikes in 92 pitches. "Those guys are hot, I had to throw a lot more strikes and I didn't do it.

"I lost my first game, but that's going to happen. You can't win all your games in the playoffs."

Hernandez came close before Tuesday.

The Cuban defector is one of only five pitchers to win his first six postseason decisions. As a rookie with the Florida Marlins in 1997, Hernandez was selected the most valuable player of the National League championship series and World Series.

He entered Tuesday's start 6-0 with a 2.84 earned-run average in eight postseason appearances, including an 8 1/3-inning effort in a victory over the Atlanta Braves in the division series.

It appeared Hernandez would have a similarly strong outing at the start against the Angels after he breezed through a 1-2-3 first inning and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second when Angel starter Ramon Ortiz struck out swinging. But again in their stirring October run, the Angels were only getting started.

They scored four runs in the third and chased Hernandez while scoring four in the fourth, blowing the game open, 8-1. He gave up five hits and six runs (five earned) while walking five, and knew exactly what went wrong.

"I'm not surprised because good teams hit the ball," Hernandez said. "They wouldn't be here unless they are a good team. I lost the game and I'm not happy about that. I always want to do [well] for my team, but those guys hit good pitches."

Well, some of them weren't so good, the Giants conceded.

"Livan pitched a pretty good game but ... some of his pitches were off a little," said catcher Benito Santiago, who seemingly would know. "Those guys know how to hit, they wouldn't be here if they didn't, so if you're off a little that can hurt you."

And umpire Tim Tschida's strike zone could have been better, Hernandez said.

"That's not a regular strike zone for me," he said. "The umpire

Hernandez's batterymate reiterated that the Angels posed the biggest problem.

"He didn't pitch bad, but those guys hit everything," Santiago said. "You know that they can do that. We've seen them do that the other night."

The Angels also pounded starter Russ Ortiz in an 11-10 victory in Game 2, chasing him after only 1 2/3 innings. Getting only 5 1/3-innings combined from starters in consecutive games isn't a formula for winning a World Series title, and now the Giants turn to left-hander Kirk Rueter in Game 4 tonight.

The Angels hit .292 against left-handers during the season.

"Russ didn't throw the ball good and I didn't throw the ball good, but there's nothing you can do about that now," Hernandez said. "You just have to win three in a row now. I've seen it happen before and we can do it. That wouldn't surprise me."

Losing to the Angels didn't either.

*

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Giant Problems,

for Starters

Three games into the World Series, none of San Francisco's starting pitchers have turned in a sterling performance. Even Jason Schmidt, winner in Game 1, struggled at times. A look at the starters' performances:

*--* JASON SCHMIDT Innings...5 2/3 Walks...1 Hits...9 Strikeouts...6 Runs...3 Pitches...92 Earned Runs...3 ERA...4.76

*--*

*--* RUSS ORTIZ Innings...1 2/3 Walks...0 Hits...9 Strikeouts...0 Runs...7 Pitches...47 Earned Runs...7 ERA...37.80

*--*

*--* LIVAN HERNANDEZ Innings...3 2/3 Walks...5 Hits...5 Strikeouts...3 Runs...6 Pitches...92 Earned Runs...5 ERA...12.27

*--*

*--* TOTALS Innings...11 Walks...6 Hits...23 Strikeouts...9 Runs...16 Pitches...231 Earned Runs...15 ERA...12.27

*--*

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