The Los Angeles Angels' reward for surviving the American League Division Series was a second straight red-eye flight late last night and another game in Chicago tonight, with no ideal option for a starting pitcher.
While the New York Yankees took the step of sending ahead a potential Game 1 starter -- right-hander Jaret Wright, who had been inactive in the ALDS but would be activated for the next round -- to Chicago a day early, the Angels did not.
"We weren't going to . . . make a compromise on what we needed to do tonight," Manager Mike Scioscia said, "to worry about tomorrow."
The Angels had planned on using rookie right-hander Ervin Santana in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series, if they advanced. But Santana was pressed into duty to replace injured starter Bartolo Colon in the second inning of last night's Game 5 against the Yankees.
With Colon suffering from shoulder stiffness and veteran lefty Jarrod Washburn sick with strep throat, the Angels' best option for Game 1 likely will be veteran right-hander Paul Byrd, who would be making the start on three days' rest. Byrd warmed up once in the bullpen last night during the second inning, but did not pitch in the game.
Scioscia said he hopes Colon will be able to pitch in the ALCS, but he also said he expects to make some roster changes to replenish his depleted pitching staff.
Sox' Staff Is Well Rested
The White Sox will bring back Jose Contreras (the surprise Game 1 starter in the Division Series) to pitch Game 1 tonight. Tomorrow's Game 2 starter will be Mark Buehrle, who started Game 2 of the Boston series. Chicago pitching coach Don Cooper scoffed at the notion that his pitchers will be too rested.
"It's a good thing," he said. "I think if you ask anybody, 'Would you rather be in this position or where the Yankees or Angels are?' I think they'd take this one."
There are concerns that Jon Garland, a sinkerball pitcher who seems to be better when he is tired, might not have pitched enough and thus will try to throw too hard when he finally starts Game 3 on Friday, thus rendering his sinker ineffective.
Sheinin reported from Anaheim, Calif., Carpenter from Chicago.