10/11/2002 9:56 pm ET
Wooten's at-bat, and then some
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Angels carry the reputation of being an annoying, irksome team. A collection of guys who give up outs grudgingly.
A pain in the bat, if you will.
OK, but what does that mean in practical terms? Allow Shawn Wooten to illustrate.
The Angels' part-time DH did just that in the second inning of Friday night's Game 3 of the ALCS, when he had Twins left-hander Eric Milton on the verge of pulling hairs.
At 5-foot-10, 225 pounds, there is nothing small-ball about Wooten. He can hurt a ball a long way. He can also buy into the Angels' way of going through a pitcher's repertoire, several times over, in one at-bat.
Two batters removed from Garret Anderson's go-ahead home run leading off the second, Wooten stepped in following a walk to Scott Spiezio.
Milton started him off with a ball, then Wooten swung through a breaking pitch for one strike and fouled one off for another.
Then he proceeded to foul away five consecutive two-strike pitches, took ball two, and fouled off another -- his seventh foul ball of the at-bat, spoiling Milton's best pitches.
Wooten then looked at a ball, running the count full.
Spiezio took off from first on the next pitch, prompting second baseman Luis Rivas to break to cover the bag.
And Wooten cued the ball through the spot vacated by Rivas ... for a hit-and-run single that chased Spiezio to third.
Milton denied the Angels any additional scoring that inning, retiring Bengie Molina on a pop up to first and striking out Benji Gil.
But the dozen pitches he was forced to make to Wooten considerably drained his reserve for the entire game. If the Minnesota left-hander came up empty a little earlier than usual, credit that second-inning at-bat.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.