10/26/2002 7:42 pm ET
MLBeat: Breaking down Barry
Scioscia rates his strategy with Bonds
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- If the Giants beat the Angels on Saturday to win the World Series in six games, it's likely that Barry Bonds would be named Series MVP.
That's nothing shocking, considering Bonds is a shoo-in as the National League's MVP for the 2002 season and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
But after five games, Angels manager Mike Scioscia says he thinks his strategy against Bonds was about what he expected.
In other words, it's tough to handle the game's best hitter.
"I think, our intentional walks, we've done well with those," Scioscia said with a smile. "We've executed those well."
The Angels' pitching staff hasn't executed much of anything against Bonds, who is 6-for-12 in the series with three home runs, two doubles and five RBIs. Bonds has been walked 10 times, six of them intentional.
"I think at times we've gone after Barry," Scioscia said. "You know, we're probably around I'm sure what the average is of what teams have done to Barry during the season. We made some good pitches. We've gotten Barry out. We haven't quite gotten pitches in some locations we're looking for, and he's hit the ball."
The rest of the Giants have hit the ball, too, and that's why the Angels are on the brink of elimination. The Giants are batting .308 in the series and have hit 12 homers, which ties the all-time record for a World Series.
Jeff Kent has three homers, Rich Aurilia and Reggie Sanders have two, and David Bell and J.T. Snow have one apiece. On the whole, San Francisco has put up 38 runs while the Angels, who are batting .328, have scored 31.
"I think going back to putting the focus on Barry, I think it's being proven that this series is much more than, 'Hey, let's contain Barry and you're going to win the series,'" Scioscia said. "I think the Giants have shown that."
As he has all week, Scioscia reiterated that the problems Bonds presents are not easy to solve because he's such a phenomenal talent.
"The margin of error of pitching to Barry is not very comfortable because he's very locked in," Sciosica said. "I'm sure he's been that way the whole season, if you look at his numbers."
No decision on Game 7: Scioscia remained mum on his Game 7 starter, but he still hinted that rookie right-hander John Lackey has the inside edge if the Angels can force a deciding game.
"We've given it a ton of thought," Scioscia said. "I've got some coming from my ears. (Angels pitching coach) Buddy Black, he's hoarse from talking it to me. We've worked this thing every which way you can work it, even the scenario of Buddy Black coming in to pitch a game."
When it finally got serious, Scioscia said that it's too early to decide and the team would have to see how Game 6 progressed, but he gave some hints.
"One indication is today we'll have (right-handed Game 3 starter) Ramon Ortiz in our bullpen, if necessary," Scioscia said. "We're going to obviously look at things and get as many options as we can, particularly on the mound, to get the outs we're going to need."
Meanwhile, the manager expressed no concerns about sending a rookie to start Game 7 in the World Series.
"For us to say that a guy is a rookie pitcher and not have confidence in him, I think, is missing the whole point," Scioscia said. "There's absolutely nobody that we would have more confidence in giving the ball to. ... He's executing pitches, he's getting guys out, and he has the makeup."
Cook says SF scuffle overblown: Reliever Dennis Cook and Lackey were out for dinner in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco after Game 4 and got an earful from loud San Francisco fans.
It was reported in a San Francisco newspaper that Cook and Lackey scuffled with the unruly fans, prompting Cook to proclaim, "We'll get you in Anaheim."
On Saturday, Cook, who is recovering from surgery on his right rotator cuff, refuted that there was any physical scuffle and said his quote was fabricated.
"It wasn't anything," Cook said. "Just a bunch of mouthing. If I'm about to get my (butt) kicked by a bunch of guys, I'm not about to say, 'We'll get you in Anaheim.'"
Cook added that he was hoping to discuss the report with the writer.
Skip Hatcher? With all the talk this postseason about Black being a future managerial candidate, Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said he'd like to be considered, too.
Hatcher, a known jokester as a player and even now, said he has the professional, serious qualities that are necessary for the job.
"These guys know the other side of me," Hatcher said. "It's like with Mike this year. You have to know that the game today is a different atmosphere. The way the salaries are makes it that way. You have to be the players' best friends and relate to them.
"Mike does a great job by getting them in his office when he has to and getting it over with right away. I'd be the same way. You always have an open door."
Crashing with Davis: Scioscia was asked Saturday about the most memorable collision he'd ever suffered as a Los Angeles Dodger catcher.
"The one collision that absolutely I got hit harder than anybody else was (former Angel) Chili Davis in 1986 when he was with the Giants," Scioscia said. "Chili plays hard, he's 6-3, looks like Apollo Creed. I saw stars. That was the hardest I've been hit, including my years of playing football. It was a heck of a collision."
Scioscia was then asked if Davis scored.
"No, he was out that time," Scioscia replied. "We were both out."
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.