Purgatory Online

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Tonight, it's John Lackey vs. Kirk Rueter. Lackey was a Godsend for the Angels, coming in around the middle of the year and going 9-4 after Schoeneweis was "demoted" to the bullpen (where he did quite well). He's been very consistent, in that he's never had a nuclear meltdown of a game, and usually works 6 innings or so with 2 or 3 earned runs.

Rueter, meanwhile, has also had a very good year, though he's looked vulnerable in the postseason. He's also the first left-hander the Giants have thrown at the Angels, and the Angels have been hell on lefties this year. The primary question for Scioscia in making out the lineup will be whether or not to replace Adam Kennedy at second base with Benji Gil - the two of them platooned during much of the year, but by the end Kennedy was hitting left-handers so well that he got the occasional start against them. Gil had a pinch-single last night, and I suspect Scioscia will start him, since this will leave him AK as an option in the late innings if Dusty Baker puts in a right-handed reliever (between Kennedy and Fullmer, who will also be on the bench, those are some pretty nice options).