Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Game 1 Matchup

So it's the Sox vs. the Angels, a match-up that scares the Bejeezus out of me. The Sox lost the season series to the Angels 6-4, and were swept at home the last time they faced the Angels. Even more scary is the fact that the Angels outscored the White Sox 50-36 in those 10 games, meaning the Angels won the not-so-close games, while the Sox eeked out their victories. Among other things, the Angels stole 8 bases in those 10 games (not so bad, I'm sure Buehrle had an impact on that), Garret Anderson hit 3 home runs, and John Lackey went 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA.

But tonight's matchup is slightly different. It's Contreras vs. Byrd, who is pitching on 3 day's rest. Of course, those 3 days include two transcontinental flights, and a warm up session last night. Note, however, that Byrd threw only 77 pitches in Game 3 against the Yankees.

Here are the key matchups, which you can pull from ESPN's Stat Pack on the game.

Angels vs. Contreras

G Anderson - .571 AVG (4 for 7)

Adam Kennedy - .429 AVG (3 for 7)

Chone Figgins - .143 AVG (1 for 7)

Benji Molina - .000 AVG (0 for 6)

Note - Dallas McPherson, who has the only career homers off of Contreras, is not on the roster.

White Sox vs. Byrd

Konerko - .294 (5 for 17), 1 homer

Podsednik - .667 (2 for 3)

Crede - .222 (2 for 9), 2 homers

Pierzynski - .200 (3 for 15)

Dye - .167 (1 for 6)

Crede has been hit or miss against Byrd - his only two hits have been home runs. Surprisingly enough, only three of the White Sox have more than 10 at bats against Byrd (despite the fact that he started 4 games against the Sox in 2002), and none of those guys, Konerko, AJ, and Everett, hit particularly well or particularly bad against him.

It will be an interesting game. Almost everything seems to be cutting the Sox's way - Conteras on a roll, the Angels' travel problems, Byrd's short rest, etc. That probably worries me most as a Sox fan. The Sox are essentially supposed to win Game 1. The Kiss of Death.

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