10/13/2002 11:48 pm ET
MLBeat: Percival had to be there
Closer an easy choice for ninth inning
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- There was no doubt about it.
In the ninth inning of Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, Troy Percival was going to be the man on the mound for the Angels.
As it turned out, the Angels' longtime closer got one of the more relaxed outings of his career.
The Angels hammered out 10 runs on 10 hits in the seventh inning and gave Percival a 13-5 lead to work with in the ninth.
Percival got three straight outs, including a game-ending popup to shortstop David Eckstein off the bat of Tom Prince, and the party was on.
"I just said to myself, 'Don't walk anybody,'" Percival said. "I just wanted to have them hit the ball and keep it in the ballpark."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia pointed to Percival's veteran leadership as a key for the Angels' bullpen, which was tops in the AL during the regular season.
"There's not a guy in this room that deserves it more than Troy," Scioscia said. "He was gonna be in there no matter what the situation."
The way Percival described it, one might have thought Scioscia wasn't even the one making the decision.
"We scored all those runs and it took some pressure off," Percival said. "I said, 'I gotta go out there and finish this thing off.'
"I had to go out there in the ninth."
Spectacular seventh: The Angels' seventh-inning explosion of offense Sunday brought forth a number of ALCS and postseason records. Here are the numbers:
The 10 runs in the inning broke the previous LCS record of nine set by St. Louis vs. Los Angeles on Oct. 13, 1985, and tied the postseason record set by the Philadelphia Athletics in Game 4 of the 1929 World Series and the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 of the 1968 World Series.
The 10 hits in the inning broke the previous record of eight by the New York Yankees vs. Seattle on Oct. 11, 2000, and tied the Philadelphia A's from the 1929 Series.
The Angels set an LCS record with six consecutive hits in an inning and tied the postseason record held by Boston in the 1999 ALDS and the Chicago Cubs in the 1908 World Series.
The nine singles hit by Anaheim in the inning are a postseason record, breaking the previous mark of eight set by St. Louis vs. Los Angeles in the 1985 NLCS.
The 15 plate appearances in the inning set an ALCS record, breaking the previous standard of 14 set by St. Louis vs. Los Angeles in the 1985 NLCS.
Adam Kennedy and Scott Spiezio each had two hits in the inning, equaling an ALCS record set by Graig Nettles of the Yankees in 1981 and Rickey Henderson of Oakland in the 1990 ALCS.
Pitching prowess: Corey Koskie of the Twins walked in Sunday's first inning, making him the first Minnesota batter to draw a walk since Torii Hunter did it in the eighth inning of Game 2. Anaheim pitchers had not allowed a walk in 19 innings prior to Koskie's.
The Angels' bullpen combined to allow four runs in 14 1/3 innings in the series, striking out 18 batters in that span. Minnesota's bullpen gave up 10 runs Sunday and allowed 16 in its last seven innings of work. Overall in the series, the Twins' bullpen allowed 19 hits, 16 runs and eight walks in 12 2/3 innings.
Twenty-year-old rookie reliever Francisco Rodriguez got his fourth victory of the postseason, becoming the fifth AL pitcher to win four games in a postseason, matching the AL record. He is the only pitcher in history to record the first four victories of his career in the postseason.
Homer happy: After finishing in the lower half of the American League in home runs all year, the Angels have turned on the power in the postseason.
The four home runs by Anaheim on Sunday ties an ALCS record for most homers in a single game. It is the sixth time this has occurred in ALCS history, most recently by Cleveland vs. New York on Oct. 9, 1998.
The Angels have hit 17 homers this postseason, 14 of them solo shots. This establishes a record for most solo homers in a single postseason. The previous mark of 12 solo homers in a postseason was shared by the 1995 Braves, 1996 Orioles and 1989 Athletics. The Major League record for total home runs in a postseason is 19, set by the 1995 Braves.
The Angels have hit eight home runs in this series, six of which have been solo homers. The LCS record for home runs in a five-game series is 10, set by the 1996 Yankees against Baltimore.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and can be reached at email@example.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.