10/05/2002 01:20 am ET
MLB.com rates the performances
The best and worst of Game 3: Yankees at Angels
By Kevin Czerwinsk / MLB.com
The Angels shocked the Yankees, 9-6, in Game 3 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. New York on the brink? Believe it.
One cab: Gridlock, 102-degrees in the city, no AC, missing window crank
Two cabs: Your driver takes "the scenic route"
Three cabs: Clean backseat, no accidents
Four cabs: Green lights, little traffic, life is good
Five cabs: VIP, police escort
Robin Ventura: When the Yankees were running away with the game early, Ventura was the big reason why. He had a double and three RBIs before the game was three innings old. He worked Ramon Ortiz perfectly in the first inning before lashing the double to right center.
Mike Mussina: The Yanks staked the Moose to a 6-1 lead and he did little to protect it. He slogged his way through four innings, needing 70 pitches to get 12 outs. The Yanks needed a starter to go deep into a game, perhaps reaching the seventh or eighth inning without hitting the 100-pitch mark. Mussina fell well short of that with an unimpressive effort before leaving the game with tightness in his right groin.
Joe Torre: For the second consecutive game the Teflon skipper mismanaged his bullpen, leaving Mike Stanton in the game entirely too long. That Stanton started the eighth inning and stayed in the game long enough to surrender a game-winning double to Erstad was a mistake. Erstad had already seen Stanton in the sixth and by the eighth the southpaw was clearly out of gas.
Mike Stanton: The southpaw was almost automatic in the postseason. He was definitely automatic against Scott Spiezio, holding him hitless in 12 at-bats before Friday night. But he flopped around the seventh inning, finally allowing the bloop single to Spiezio that scored the tying run. He followed with a terrible eighth, allowing doubles to Adam Kennedy and Darin Erstad that polished off Anaheim's comeback.
Alfonso Soriano: The pressure of chasing 40 homers seems to have carried over into the playoffs. After going 0-for-5 on Friday, the game's best leadoff hitter is batting .083 in the postseason.
One monkey: You've come down with the ebola virus
Two monkeys: You're stuck working for a non-union organ grinder
Three monkeys: Zoo life. Plenty of bananas, not much excitement
Four monkeys: More fun than a barrel of ... well, you know
Five monkeys: Thump that chest, you're king of the jungle
Adam Kennedy: He batted ninth but came through like a cleanup hitter, going 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs. Kennedy had a hand in rallies in the third, fourth and sixth and his leadoff double in the eighth turned out to be the beginning of the end for the Yanks. He scored what would prove to be the winning run when Darin Erstad doubled him home.
Scott Spiezio: He had been 0-for-12 in his career against Mike Stanton before delivering the big hit that tied the score in the seventh inning. He also drove in Anaheim's first run in the second inning.
Tim Salmon: He provided the exclamation point in the eighth inning, blasting the two-run homer off Steve Karsay that iced the game. He also had a two-run double in the third, picking the team up at a time when the Halos could have imploded.
Francisco Rodriguez: The 20-year-old could be the star of this game after picking up his second win. Sure, he didn't get the big hits that some of his teammates picked up. But he pitched a pair of blistering innings, striking out four and shutting down the vaunted Bomber lineup with an ease not often seen by Joe Torre's team. It was emblematic of a brilliant effort by the Anaheim pen.
Ramon Ortiz: Ortiz did nothing to distinguish himself as a big-money playoff pitcher with his performance. He labored through 2 2/3 innings, throwing 64 pitches only half of which were strikes. Ortiz' control proved to be his undoing. He walked four batters and all four runners scored. He allowed six runs, all earned, on only three hits and effectively took the home crowd out of the game almost immediately.
Kevin Czerwinski is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.