October 8, 2002
Joe Mays was masterful in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Anaheim Angels, looking more like he did in 2001 than his 2002 numbers suggest. The Angels, who were fresh off a series against the Yankees in which they averaged nearly eight runs per game, looked off balance throughout the game. Mays allowed just four hits over the course of eight innings pitched, and if it weren’t for a ball that shortstop Cristian Guzman allowed through his legs, Mays would have held the Angels scoreless.
An interesting story about the decision to bring Guardado in to finish the game despite Mays only having thrown 99 pitches from Stew Thornley’s article in the SABR Games Project:
The Twins took their 2-1 lead into the ninth, and Gardenhire brought in Eddie Guardado to finish it off. Mays had delivered 99 pitches in what he called “the game of my career,” and had been asked how he was feeling by pitching coach Rick Anderson in the last of the eighth. “I said, ‘I feel great. I’ll go out there and close this out if you like me to. But Eddie’s been doing it all year, that’s his job.’ I gave him the option.
“It took me a little longer to loosen up in the eighth inning. That was the only reason I gave him that option. Otherwise, I would have told him I was ready to go back out there.”
The Twins scored on AJ Pierzynski’s second inning sacrifice fly that knocked in Torii Hunter who had doubled earlier in the inning, and on a Corey Koskie double to right field in the fifth inning.
1. Joe Mays 0.49
2. Eddie Guardado 0.17
3. Corey Koskie 0.15
Tough day for the middle of the Angels’ order, which went 0-for-8 combined:
1. Garret Anderson -0.17
2. Troy Glaus -0.17