10/21/2002 02:53 am ET
Tim Salmon post-game quotes
Just tell us what was going through your mind as soon as you hit the ball. What were you thinking?
Oh, I mean, I knew I got it. It was just -- I knew the situation. I knew it was big.
You had a feeling it was going to come down to something like that, the way both teams were playing. That's something I've been dreaming about doing for a long time, and watching it being done from my couch. It was unbelievable.
What does it say about just the way this team does things, that the most veteran Angel and the youngest kid end up being the two that get it done tonight?
I've said it a million times this past week, but this club is just amazing. It's a 25-man effort every night, new heroes every night. Tonight it was just my turn. You can't say enough about Frankie (Rodriguez) coming out. Boy, the way the Giants were swinging the bats, you knew that it was potentially going to be a long night. Frankie came in and just really shut the door. You can't say enough. He's just unbelievable.
You've been having trouble offensively before this game. Is it difficult to maintain confidence when you're going through that kind of a period, and what was different about tonight in terms of maybe mental attitude, mental approach on your part, or anything?
Well, this whole postseason I've gone up there being aggressive. I felt like in the Minnesota series I faced some pretty good righties that were spotting the ball pretty well. I think, to me, when I want to be aggressive, I want to be aggressive in my zone. I felt like I was going out of my zone.
Even last night, I was aggressive and swinging some balls that were probably the pitcher's pitches.
You want to be aggressive but you want to be aggressive in your zone. Even last night, I was up a lot last night thinking about the popup there, the man on third.
It's, in these games, you want to be able to come through in the situations. Like I said, last night, though, it was a tough night. Tonight, I think just kind of getting that first hit out of the way just helps things along.
You played for a decade before you finally got here, and the kid who shares the locker next to you has been here for a month. Do you think he really appreciates and understands just how hard it is to get to the World Series?
I don't know. I got to believe so. This is something he's never been involved in either, so I'm sure he's got to respect the magnitude of it all.
I tell these young guys, "Just appreciate it, man. Make the most of it." That's the biggest thing, that's been my motto, "Just make the most of it, be loose, let it fly, be aggressive. Don't go home thinking you left anything -- held anything back."
Guys like Frankie coming in, it's just awesome. He's a definite ace in the hole for us.
Tell us about the obvious importance of taking Game 2, number one. Second part of my question, give us your play by play of Bonds' hit.
I'll start with the importance, because that's the important part.
There's no doubt, after last night, it was a tough loss. We knew we'd come back and play a good game. We did and got the big lead. Kind of felt good.
But then the Giants fought back, the game they made it into, this was huge. It was a huge win for us. We had to battle to come back to get it.
I don't know going down 0-2 going into their ballpark would have been a great situation. But you can kind of feel good about a split right now, I guess. That's a great club over there, a mirror image of what we do, outside of we don't have a Bonds.
But anyway, his ball he hit, I wanted Percy to challenge him. Heck, you got a two-run lead. That was the farthest ball I've ever seen hit in this ballpark for sure. He's awesome, man. You just can't help -- as a player, on the other side, you become a fan. You know something special's going to happen. Just hopefully doesn't hurt us and take the lead.
You've been here the longest. How satisfying is it that you hit the home run to get the first World Series win in Angels' history?
I think there's a lot of things I'm not going to really realize until later. But, you know what, right now, the biggest thing was getting a win. We got off to -- the way the game went, we got out there early and gave it up. Then to come back and get it, that's the most important thing, whether I'm the first Angel or whatever, I'm not really thinking in those terms yet.
That was just a big win. I mean, that was a huge win for us. We fought back. You're just proud of the guys.
How big was (Darin) Erstad's at-bat right before your at-bat? Did you think there was a chance they'd change pitchers?
Well, Ersty definitely, he worked the count and made the guy throw a lot of pitches. That can be beneficial.
In that situation, too, I'm on the on-deck circle. I just want to get to the plate. You get antsier, the deeper the count goes.
I know that they went out there and talked to him. I don't know what they were saying. I knew they had Worrell down there throwing. I don't know what situation was coming. I felt like he was going to leave him in there to face me. Other than that, I don't know.
Could you talk about what happened with the rundown a couple innings earlier? Second part of the question, several years ago, when you were struggling so much here and you seemed to handle it so well, did you ever really worry about your career back then? Did you think that could be it?
The first part, the rundown, I knew that Ersty was a big run with two outs. Garret (Anderson) hit that ball hard. When I was running, I saw Reggie (Sanders) charging it. To me, that's, hey, if I can draw a throw, I'm going to draw a throw. I figured there might be a close play at the plate. If the ball goes through, I'm on third base and the run scores. If there's a chance they can cut it, to me, I didn't even think anything other than that. I wasn't going to stop at second base. If I could draw the throw, I was going to do it.
Going back to last year, that was probably the low point, no doubt. You wonder. I knew in my heart of hearts that I wasn't physically where I needed to be. But still, you get your head beat in for six months, that does take its toll, mentally, with your confidence and everything. You start wondering. I know everybody was talking about it, so that doesn't help the matter.
But I think I got strong when I came back in spring training. I felt like that put to rest a lot of my fears. I know I got off to a slow start, but looking back now, it was a typical slow start. I think spring training was the point where I felt like I had turned the corner and come back.
As you said, somebody had to be the guy tonight. When you came to bat in the bottom of the eighth, were you thinking, "I could be the guy"? What was your thought process?
You know what, when Ersty was battling, I really felt like there was a chance Ersty was going to get on base, either walk or something. I was thinking at that point, "Okay, just, I'm going to have a guy in scoring position," I was really getting ready for that.
But when he made the out, a guy on first base, it kind of changed my thinking. All of a sudden it wasn't like there -- I was so expecting on the on-deck circle to be hitting with a guy to drive in. If anything, maybe it helped me relax. It was just, "You know what, base it up the middle, a little base hit."
I know with me, I don't hit home runs when I go up there trying to hit them. Typically, they come in a situation like that, when you're not trying to do too much with the ball and just get a base hit.
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