It seemed like a tragedy then but Loss #68 of the 2002 season is now but an asterisk
I lost a few friends who came over to watch this game with me. Jarrod Washburn gave up three runs in the first and three more in the second to totally kill the mood.
The Angels came back with three runs in the fifth inning off of starter Jason Schmidt, capped off by a Troy Glaus double. Then they scrapped out a run in the sixth. Okay, 6-4, Brendan Donnelly had been lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth after a 1-2-3 fifth and so Ben Weber comes into a 6-4 ballgame and promptly screws the pooch. A two run Jeff Kent homer makes it 8-4. In the seventh Weber is even worse and Scot Shields replaces him and not much better and it is 12-4.
By this time there is broken glass in my loft and hurt feelings as my guests have left, their stale cigarette smoke and a half bag of potato chips is all that is left of a ten-year friendship. Screw them for wanting to chat about life and art while Angels are in the World Series and blowing a chance at a world championship. Shields gave up four runs in the bottom of the eighth to give San Francisco fans a wild partying final celebration in their home stadium.
We know how it ended so we can smile about it but at the time it was terrible, it was every Angels postseason choke tale reinforced and retold with a lump in the throat.
Don't ever forget, even in your darkest days, especially in your darkest hours, that the bitterness of the 24th made the celebration the next week even sweeter.