Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Posted 3:14 PM by Sean
Disposing of the Yankees was nice, but it's over. Thanks to Saturday's rainout and the kiddie-fiddlers at FOX, the Angels will play in Chicago tonight, travel and pitching disarray be damned. Though I have not yet seen an updated ALCS roster for the Angels, the word is that the Angels are skeptical that Bartolo Colon's inflamed shoulder will allow him to pitch against the White Sox, and he may be done for the year. Paul Byrd will pitch tonight, John Lackey goes in Game 3, and Ervin Santana in Game 4 (if Colon and/or Washburn remain unavailable). Game 2?
Well, Washburn has strep throat, and probably won't be ready. Which means either Kevin Gregg or Kelvim Escobar out of the bullpen, or Joe Saunders, who was not on the ALDS roster. Fun times.
The flip side of the disarray is that if the Angels do manage to steal one in Chicago it puts them in a stronger position that it would otherwise, since they would be coming home starting Lackey in Game 3 against Jon Garland. But they have to, you know, win first.
Tonight's White Sox starter is Jose Contreras, who's managed to turn around a pretty mediocre season after the All-Star Break and put together a nice little run. His splits this year:
vLHB - .231/.319/.365, 445 PA, 4.11 BB9, 6.34 K9, 7.63 H9
vRHB - .233/.295/.379, 412 PA, 2.44 BB9, 7.22 K9, 7.95 H9
Not a whole lot to work with there as far as matchups go, so it's likely we'll see some version of the default lineup against righties - Finley in center, Figgins at third. Scioscia has shown a propensity to juggle Guerrero and Anderson a bit lately, so I wouldn't be surprised to see something like this considering GA's recent upswing:
Figgins - 3B
Cabrera - SS
Guerrero - RF
Anderson - LF
Molina - C
Erstad - 1B
Rivera - DH
Finley - CF
Kennedy - 2B
Defensively, probably the most important thing for Byrd will be getting the White Sox to hit the ball on the ground. Since the pitching is thin, he'll be looking to throw hittable pitches early in counts, thereby making use of the defense and going deeper into the game. Byrd's not exactly a strikeout pitcher to begin with, so this shouldn't represent much of a departure for him. His average pitches per inning is a relatively low 14.3 this year; if he can maintain that pace and get through seven innings, I'm sure the Angels would have no complaints.