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Vladdy's finest moment as an Angel...
There have been four games in Halo History that fell on October 11...
The Angels were getting mowed down by Roger Clemens in the season he would win the MVP and the Cy Young. He struck out nine Angels and had only given up five hits going into the ninth inning of a 3-0 ballgame.
Doug DeCinces led off the ninth with a solo homerun. With one out, Dick Schofield and Bob Boone singled. That was it for Clemens. Calvin Schiraldi's second pitch to Gary Petis was a double to LF and scored Schofield with pinch-runner Devon White moving to 3B. The strategy of intentionally walking Ruppert Jones to load the bases did not induce a groundout as Bobby Grich struck out for the second out of the game.
With the base loaded, Brian Downing was hit by a pitch. Tie ballgame. Extra innings.
In the eleventh inning, Jerry Narron led off with a base hit and was bunted to 2B by Pettis. Schiraldi again intentionally walked Jones to face Grich with one out and a man on 2B. This time Bobby Grich hit a walkoff single to score Narron.
It felt great. Doug Corbett got the win. It would be a week shy of sixteen years before the Angels won another postseason game and feel that great again.
2002 - Angels defeat Minnesota Twins 2-1 to take a 2-1 ALCS lead
Jarrod Washburn pitched seven innings of 1 run ball, striking out seven. In the seventh a Jacques Jones double scored Dustin Mohr to tie the game. Garret Anderson had led off the bottom of the second inning with a double to get the scoring started.
Troy Glaus homered to lead off the bottom of the eighth and that was all the Angels would need. Francisco Rodriguez was the pitcher of record and got the win and Troy Percival had a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the Save.
2005 - Angels defeat White Sox 3-2 to take the opening game of the ALCS
The Angels played Sunday in New York, Monday in Anaheim and Tuesday night in Chicago. Paul Byrd took the mound and never surrendered the lead he was given in the second inning with a leadoff homerun by Garret Anderson and two runs scored by Steve Finley and Adam Kennedy in the third inning.
Byrd allowed a run in the bottom of the third on a solo homer by Joe Crede and another run in the fourth but that was all. Scot Shields pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth and Frankie got the Save, striking out Crede swinging with the tying run on 1B under the supervision of umpire Doug Eddings who would be behind the plate the next night. Three cities... three wins.
2009 - Angels defeat Red Sox 7-6 to win the ALDS 3 games to 0
Dreams of sweeping the Sox on their home Fenway Park turf were fading late in the game as the Chowds had a 5-2 after seven. Even after the Angels made it a 5-4 ballgame, the Chowds answered back with one in the bottom of the frame and it was pretty much see ya tomorrow.
In the top of the ninth Maicer Izturis fouled out and Gary Matthews Jr., pinch-hitting for Mike Napoli flew out. Jonathan Papelbon was on and a meaningless two out single to Erick Aybar wasn't going to stop him, nor was a walk to Chone Figgins. But a Bobby Abreu double scored Aybar and with runners on 2B and 3B in a now 6-5 ballgame.
And so the decision of the Red Sox was to intentionally walk Torii Hunter in order to have a force out at any base. Up next to Vladimir Guerrero. I turned to my girlfriend and said, "Wow, I feel so sorry for Vlad to be put in this situation." The former MVP had become notorious in Angels lore for disappearing in the postseason. And he had carried them to October so many times only to swing and miss, weakly ground out or limp around after yet another season on wounded knees.
Vladdy drove the first pitch he saw hard up the middle, driving in the tying and go ahead run. Brian Fuentes pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. The Anegls had taken a postseason series from the Red Sox. They celebrated on the grass and dirt of Fenway Park. Jered Weaver held Nick Adenhart's jersey high. One day short of the 23rd anniversary of the Donnie Moore game, the ghost was exorcised. The fifth postseason series the Angels had ever won was all the more sweet because it was a sweep against a team that had eliminated the Angels four times in postseason play. But that was the past. The champagne flowed in Fenway for the good guys once and for all.