ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The World Series gets underway Saturday night with the Anaheim Angels hoping to claim their first title in their first attempt.
Anaheim will host San Francisco in Game 1 with Jason Schmidt starting for the Giants against the Angels' Jarrod Washburn.
In only his second career postseason start, Schmidt pitched brilliantly in winning Game 2 of the NLCS, giving up a solo homer in 7 2/3 innings while striking out eight members of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Washburn, who had never won more than 11 games in parts of four seasons, had an 18-6 record this season. He was unbeaten in a 17-game stretch.
Anaheim does not have a single player on its roster with World Series experience, something that has not happened in 41 years. But the Angels have compiled a team batting average of .328 while posting a 7-2 record against the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins.
The Angels' inexperience has transformed to exuberance as the World Series the franchise has waited for since its creation 42 years ago is finally at hand.
"Getting to start Game 1 of the World Series, it's a dream come true," Washburn said. "You dream as a kid to play in the World Series and I get to throw the first pitch in Game 1 this year."
"It is starting to (sink in)," Schmidt said on the eve of the opening contest. "Another day to go, but until you get on that mound and you see all the people out there, it's not really going to sink in completely. It's an honor, probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I'm just going to enjoy it."
The Giants are not all that experienced at this sort of thing, either. They have just four players who have appeared in a World Series -- Livan Hernandez, Robb Nen, Reggie Sanders and Kenny Lofton.
"I've never been in a World Series," Giants superstar Barry Bonds said. "There's a lot of guys on their team, our team, that have never been in the World Series. Obviously, everybody's excited to be here. I am particularly. It's something I've worked for my whole life."
Although the Angels are the first team since the 1961 Cincinnati Reds not to have any World Series experience, they do not see that as a negative.
"I think we've showed coming into the postseason and throughout the playoffs that not having experience doesn't bother us," Washburn said. "We go out, play baseball the way we have all year and we'll continue to do that in the World Series."
Both managers agreed that the uncommonly long layoff was good for their team. In fact, Giants manager Dusty Baker likened it to another sport.
"My team was tired and spent," he said. "Now they have the opportunity to get their physical strength back. It has felt like Super Bowl week, where you got almost a whole week to talk about things."
"I think our guys are fresh, their legs are fresh, their arms are fresh now and they have been able to work out on a level to keep their edge," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "We'll be ready to go tomorrow."
Both teams worked out at Edison Field Friday. The managers set their rotation for the first four games.
In Game 2 Sunday, Anaheim's Kevin Appier will be opposed by Russ Ortiz. In Game 3 Tuesday in San Francisco, Anaheim's Ramon Ortiz faces Hernandez. Game 4 Wednesday pits Anaheim rookie John Lackey against Kirk Rueter.
Interleague play did not see the Giants play the Angels this season. The teams met a handful of times in Cactus League games during spring training.
The is the first World Series between wild card teams. It is the fourth California World Series and the first since 1989, when Oakland swept San Francisco.