Pivotal World Series Plays
Spiezio Sparks the Angels
2002 World Series Game 6: San Francisco Giants vs Anaheim Angels
The Giants lead three games to two.
With the Giants leading 5-0 in the bottom of the seventh, the Angels' dugout was lifeless and so was the crowd of 44,506 at Edison Field. If they had known that no team had ever blown a five-run lead so late in a World Series game, they might have headed for the exits.
Righthander Russ Ortiz was cruising with a two-hitter. He retired the leadoff man, LF Garrett Anderson, on a grounder to second. But when 3B Troy Glaus and DH Brad Fullmer stroked back-to-back singles, SF manager Dusty Baker made the fateful decision to remove Ortiz in favor of right-hander Felix Rodriguez. Since Felix had no saves during the season, the Giants skipper obviously wanted Rodriguez to be a bridge to closer Robb Nen, who had all 43 of the club's saves.
As Ortiz left the mound, Baker handed him the baseball as a souvenir of what Dusty obviously thought would be the Series-clinching win. No one in the crowd seemed to notice the gesture since they were standing and cheering for a rally.
The fans were sparked by the "Rally Monkey" video on the big screen in center field. The video, which debuted in 2000, featured Katie, a white-haired capuchin monkey who had appeared in the TV sitcom Friends. Katie bounced to the House of Pain song "Jump Around" and held a sign proclaiming that it's "RALLY TIME!" as the fans hit their rubber Thundersticks together.

L-R: Brad Fullmer, Dusty Baker takes out Russ Ortiz as C Benito Santiago listens, Feliz Rodriguez
The first batter Rodriguez faced was 1B Scott Spiezio, a .285 hitter during the season with 82 RBIs and 12 HRs. A switch-hitter, Spiezio swung from the left side against Rodriguez. He was 5-for-19 (.263) in the Series with 5 RBIs. Spiezio fell behind 1-2 before fouling off three straight pitches and working the count full. Rodriguez kept shaking his pitching arm as if to loosen it or find something extra. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Scott launch Anaheim dugout, manager Mike Scioscia thought it might be too high to make it into the stands. But the ball landed in the third row to make it 5-3.
Spiezio later revealed that he had seen Baker give Ortiz the game ball and said that it "did give me some extra motivation." After firing 96 mph fast balls high and outside, Rodriguez finally came into Scott's wheelhouse on the eighth pitch - a fastball down and in. "I got just enough of it to hit a dramatic home run. ... I heard the crowd erupt and felt like I was 4' off the ground" as he circled the bases.
Scott recalled that his father Ed, a major leaguer with the Cardinals, Padres, and White Sox (1964-72), had started teaching him situational hitting when he was only five years old. "Son, pretend it's Game 7 of the World Series, bottom of the 9th, your team is down, guys on base, you at bat."

L-R: Scott Spiezio hits home run, Brendan Donnelly, Tim Worrell
Brendan Donnelly kept the lead at two runs in the top of the 8th. With Tim Worrell on the mound for the Giants, CF Darin Erstad swatted a home run into the third row of the RF stands to make it 5-4. RF Tim Salmon followed with a single to put the tying run on base. Anderson then blooped a single to short LF to send pinch-runner Chone Figgins to 3rd with the batter taking 2nd on the throw in. At this point, Baker finally went to Nen, who was 7-for-7 in save opportuities in the '02 postseason. But this one would be a huge challenge with the tying run on 3rd and the go-ahead run on 2nd with nobody out.
With the count 2-1, Glaus smashed the next pitch to the left-field wall to score both runners and put the Angels ahead 6-5. Nen then retired the side with no further damage.
Anaheim closer Troy Percival, with 40 saves in the regular season, set down the Giants in order in the 9th to even the series.

L-R: Darin Erstad homers, Troy Glaus doubles, Troy Percival
The Angels took Game 7 the next night 4-1 to win the only World Series in franchise history. They also became the first team to win a seven-game World Series in which they trailed in each game.
If Ortiz kept the ball that Baker gave him, it became a memento of the last pitch he threw as a Giant since he was traded to Atlanta in December.