Former Red Sox farmhand David Eckstein, whom the Angels acquired on waivers in 2000 and installed at shortstop in 2001, got things started for the Angels. Eckstein drew a leadoff walk and went to third on a single by centerfielder Darin Erstad. Third baseman Troy Glaus doubled to right to score Eckstein. Left fielder Garret Anderson bounced to shortstop Nomar Garciaparra who threw out Glaus at the plate and catcher Doug Mirabelli gunned the ball to first to double up Anderson and end the threat.
The Angels scored again in the second thanks to the pesky Eckstein. Designated hitter Shawn Wooten led off with a single. One batter later, catcher Bengie Molina singled and Wooten went to second. After second baseman Benji Gil hit into a force play, Eckstein singled to bring home Wooten and make it 2-0 Anaheim.
Eckstein was in the middle of things again in the fourth. With one out, first baseman Scott Spiezio walked. Molina doubled to left (he was in the midst of a stretch of nine consecutive hits) and Spiezio scored. After Gil grounded out, Eckstein singled to right and the slow-moving Molina was able to score from second on the play. The Angels led 4-0 after four.
The Red Sox got into the action in the fifth. Right fielder Troy O'Leary singled to lead off and first baseman Shea Hillenbrand followed with one of his own. Third baseman Chris Stynes grounded to Eckstein who flipped to Gil at second for the force, except Gil missed the base and everyone was safe and the bases were loaded. Rapp then walked Mirabelli to force over Boston's first run of the game. Rapp compounded his problems by throwing a wild pitch to let a second run score. Center fielder Trot Nixon flied out to left but no runners could advance, but second baseman Mike Lansing was able to fly out to center deep enough to let Stynes score the third run.
The Angels pushed their lead up to 5-3 in the seventh when Anderson hit his 24th home run of the season, this one off of reliever Rich Garces.
Ben Weber was on the mound for the Angels to start the fateful eighth inning. Garciaparra led off with a single and designated hitter Carl Everett followed with another single. Left fielder Dante Bichette singled to load the bases. With the left-handed hitting O'Leary up, some people expected lefty Mike Holtz to get the call, but Scioscia decided to stick with Weber. O'Leary singled to score two runs to tie the game. Out of the dugout came Scioscia and in to face lefty batter Hillenbrand was not Holtz, but rather right hander Al Levine. And the strategy looked like it might work as Hillenbrand struck out, but Stynes came up with a single to score Bichette and O'Leary went to third. Mirabelli hit a sacrifice fly to bring home O'Leary to make it 7-5 Boston.
The Angels had a rally in the ninth against Boston closer Ugueth Urbina. With one out, Erstad singled and stole second. Glaus struck out, but Anderson followed with a double to score Erstad. Anderson stole third base, but right fielder Tim Salmon struck out to end the game.
2001 would not be a memorable year for either Boston or Anaheim. The Red Sox finished 82-79 and 13 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Angels were an uninspiring 75-87 and finished 41 games behind Seattle, who tied a major league record with 116 wins (against 46 losses). The Yankees would win the AL pennant and then lose a dramatic World Series to Arizona in seven games with the tragedy of 9/11 constantly looming in the background.
The Red Sox season was slowed down from the outset when Garciaparra missed much of the season with a wrist injury. Pedro Martinez pitched in just 18 games. Bichette found out that he was both old, fat, and no longer playing at altitude. Only free agent acquisition Manny Ramirez performed up to expectations (or even exceeded them.)
The Angels players appeared to regress a bit after a respectable (82-80) season in 2000. Erstad, who had 240 hits while batting .355 in 2000, hit .258 with 163 hits in 2001. Glaus did hit 41 home runs, fourth most in the AL. Eckstein became a crowd favorite in Anaheim, although he really wasn't all that good in 2001 with a 712 OPS. As for Holtz, the lefty specialist whom Scioscia did not trust this day, lefties had an OPS of 890 against him in 2001 and he was far better against righthanders, who had an OPS of 672 against him. The Angels would get better in 2002.
Sources: Retrosheet, Baseball-reference.com, Los Angeles Times