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Torii Hunter opened the 2009 ALDS with a bang on this date in 2009...
The Angels have played four postseason games on October 8th...
1982 - Angels lose 5-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 of the Best of 5 ALCS, still lead 2 games to 1.
The Angels were down 5-0 after Geoff Zahn gave up three runs in the fourth inning and Mike Witt allowed two in the seventh. Bob Boone led off the top of the eighth with a solo homerun off of starter Don Sutton. Fred Lynn doubled home Rod Carew with two outs and was then doubled home by Don Baylor. Reliever Pete Ladd induced a groundout from Doug DeCinces to end the inning and the only threat of the game as the Angels went quietly.
2002 - Angels open the ALCS against the Twins in Minnesota with a 2-1 loss.
Twins starter Joe Mays held the Halos to four hits over eight innings and Eddie Guardado shut the door in the ninth. In the second inning, everybody's favorite opponent A.J. Pierzynski hit a sac fly off of Angels starter Kevin Appier to score Torii Hunter. Adam Kennedy scored on a two-out error by Shortstop Christian Guzman to tie the game in the third inning. Appier allowed a run-scoring double to Corey Koskie in the fifth, but got David Ortiz to foul out and struck out Torii Hunter to limit the damage, but the bats could not answer for the little bit of damage that was done.
The Angels were down early and then suddenly were down 6-1. Already down by two games, this Friday afternoon game just seemed like torture. Suddenly though, Mike Timlin had loaded the bases and then walked in a run and up stepped Vladimir Guerrero. Grand Slam. Suddenly the game was a nailbiter, Boston's visions of chokes were alive and the idea of who might start games four and five were alive.
The Angels blew a few great scoring opportunities and the game went into extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth, with Pokey Reese on second base, Francisco Rodriguez struck out Manny Ramirez for the second out of the inning. Mike Scioscia went to his bullpen. In a season where he flagrantly avoided lefty/lefty matchups in order to conform to inning-long relief roles, Scioscia called for Jarrod Washburn to face David Ortiz over closer Troy Percival. It was confounding to Percival and to anyone who had followed the team closely and knew Scioscia's stone-faced rigidity. But okay, let's see what happens... first pitch... over the green monster. The Angels were eliminated.
John Lackey pitched 7.1 innings of 4-hit shutout ball and Torii Hunter had the big hit of the night in front of the Angel Stadium crowd of 45,070. Jon Lester gave up a double to Erick Aybar to lead of the bottom of the fifth. Chone Figgins bunted him over to 3B and Bobby Abreu walked. Hunter hit a high 0-1 fastball over the left field fence. 3-0 Angels and a rush of confidence, a feeling of inevitability was in the air.