15 Years Later: LA Angels vs. San Fran Giants Game Four

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 23: Starting pitcher John Lackey
SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 23: Starting pitcher John Lackey /

The LA Angels are 15 years removed from their most recent championship. 15 years ago today, they seemed in control with a 2-1 lead. However, this series was full of comebacks, and Game Four was just that for the Giants.

The LA Angels took a 2-1 lead no one saw coming into Game 4. They sent out John Lackey to start the pivotal game. Just three days removed from extensive work as a reliever in Game 2, Lackey played hero for the first four innings of the game.

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He got early run support. David Eckstein was able to bring in a run on a bases loaded sacrifice fly. The Angels squandered the rest of the inning though, leaving too many runners on base. Troy Glaus tried his best to make up for it though. He sent his third big fly of the World Series out of the park, bringing in two runs.

Lackey was set up for the win. However, you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. For Lackey, it was the latter. With a 3-0 lead, Lackey allowed three consecutive singles in the bottom of the fifth. A couple of knocks later, and the game was tied at three runs apiece.

The game only featured seven total pitchers, a rather low number for a playoff game. Ben Weber was the first out of the bullpen for the Halos, and did not allow a run in an inning of work. Felix Rodriguez and Tim Worrell combined for two shutout innings for the hometown Giants.

The Angels sent out rookie phenom Francisco Rodriguez in the bottom of the eighth inning. After a dominant showing in Game Two, there was no better option. K-Rod was the perfect setup man for closer Troy Percival. However, Percival never got the chance for the save, and Rodriguez allowed David Bell to drive in J.T Snow following a passed ball by catcher Bengie Molina.

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The Halo offense sputtered in the second half of this game. Despite having ten hits (even Lackey got in on the action), they could not lace them together.

The Giants were not going to lose twice in front of their home crowd. However, the Angels were able to keep Barry Bonds from going deep for the first time in the series.

Next: 15 Years Later: Giants Outlast Angels in Pivotal Game Four

This game set up the series for what was the most dramatic final three games in recent World Series history. A rollercoaster throughout, the Angels and Giants were just getting started.