Silence of the fans

first_imgWith umpire Doug Eddings safely tucked away down the right-field line, the American League Championship Series resumed Friday night without so much as a peep from the Angels. There really wasn’t much the Angels could say, not as Chicago White Sox pitcher Jon Garland quieted their bats for nine innings in a 5-2 White Sox win before 44,725 at Angel Stadium, giving the White Sox a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “We looked weird today. We didn’t swing the bat like we used to.’ With Mark Buehrle throwing a complete game in Game 2, the White Sox became the first team to throw back-to-back complete games in the ALCS since the Angels’ Tommy John and Bruce Kison did it against the Milwaukee Brewers in 1982. “It’s nothing we haven’t seen all year,’ said White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who had three hits, including a two-run homer in the first inning gave the White Sox a 3-0 lead. “It’s the reason why we’re here. I think there’s a healthy competition amongst (the starters). They always try to outdo each other.’ The White Sox jumped on Angels starter John Lackey early, getting three runs in the first inning, two coming on Konerko’s third postseason home run. Lackey lasted five innings and gave up all five runs and eight hits, putting the Angels in an early hole that all but doomed them from the start. “Our formula for winning, much like theirs, is really let our pitchers relax a little bit, make pitches and pitch deep enough into a game,’ Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “You’re able to do that when one team jumps out in front. They were able to do that, and they relaxed Jon relaxed and pitched a good game.’ Garland threw a complete-game four hitter, allowing only a two-run home run to Orlando Cabrera in the sixth inning. After Cabrera’s home run, Garland retired the final 10 Angels hitters to finish it off. “He was in command of all his pitches,’ Cabrera said. “He kept the ball down, he rode the corners, he threw strikes. It was like we were looking for something else, something soft. It didn’t come. We kept getting jammed because he threw a lot of fastballs. center_img Garland walked Chone Figgins to begin the bottom of the first, but didn’t walk another batter. “I think the confidence rolled up from the offense there in the first inning,’ Garland said. “Going out there and giving me some quick early runs took the pressure off me a little bit, and I was able to go out there and attack the zone.’ While the Angels heaped praise on Garland, they know that their hitters are capable of more, and nobody fits that bill more than Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero had an infield single in four at-bats Friday, and his postseason slump continues. Guerrero is hitting .233 (7 for 30) in the playoffs with no extra-base hits and one RBI. Including the regular season, he has one home run in his past 76 at-bats. “He’s a guy that likes to do his thing every game,’ Cabrera said. “He needs to relax more. I try to talk to him, let him know they’re not pitching to him at all. But he’s swinging the bat good, hitting the ball hard. They’re just catching it.’ Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said he thinks Guerrero is swinging the bat well, but Guerrero has been especially aggressive at the plate, seeing just 27 pitches in his 11 at-bats in the three ALCS games. “I think he’s frustrated right now,’ Hatcher said. “I tell him, it could happen tomorrow. It’s just how he is, he wants to do it more than anybody. You can see the look on his face. He’s working hard to figure out some things.’ Outside of Cabrera’s home run, the only Angel to get as far as second base in the game was Darin Erstad, who doubled with two out in the second inning but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. Meanwhile, Lackey was off his game from the start, the White Sox scoring three times in the first inning. Jermaine Dye doubled home Scott Podsednik with one out, and Konerko followed with his home run, a two-run blast over the fence in left-center on a hanging breaking ball for a 3-0 White Sox lead. In the third, Tadahito Iguchi led off with a single, went to second on a walk to Dye and scored one out later on Carl Everett’s single to left to put Chicago up, 4-0. Lackey worked a 1-2-3 fourth inning before the White Sox got another run in the fifth on Konerko’s RBI single. Lackey got out of the fifth but was done for the night. He had failed to pitch into the sixth inning only three times in 33 regular-season starts. “On the full-count curveball to Konerko, John hung it and Paul hit it,’ Scioscia said. “Tonight was a night he didn’t have what he usually has.’ Joe Haakenson can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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