Angels: No fuming over Paul ball

first_imgANAHEIM – It’s never over ’til it’s over, as the saying goes, and even then it isn’t necessarily over. The Angels found that out the hard way in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday night in their 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox. What they thought was strike three, wasn’t strike three in the mind of umpire Doug Eddings. Even though Lackey is in only his third full major-league season, tonight’s game certainly won’t be his biggest. He was the first rookie in 93 years to become the winning pitcher in a Game 7, beating the Giants in 2002. “John Lackey’s evolution as a pitcher has been happening over the last three or four years,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think from pitching Game 7 in 2002 of the World Series and winning that game, his expectations were off the charts as far as what he thought he needed to do. He thought he had to go from winning that game to Cy Young Award winner next year or he wasn’t progressing the way he feels he should. “He’s a very confident pitcher. He’s had some bumps in the road. He’s made some great adjustments. This year, probably outside of his first handful of starts, he’s been arguably our best pitcher.” Lackey has been known as an emotional pitcher, and he still is. The difference now is he is better at channeling that emotion. He’s also learned how to pitch, relying heavily this season on his changeup, making his other pitches more effective. “I would just say experience,” Lackey said of his improvement. “I think more so understanding my pitches, understanding when to throw certain things and understanding game situations better. That’s what I think I’ve matured at the most, understanding that there could be one or two spots in a game that can mean a game, and you’ve really got to lock in and make pitches in those situations.” Lackey has done well against the White Sox this season, going 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three starts. Joe Haakenson, (626) 962-8811 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The inning the Angels thought was over wasn’t, and the White Sox cashed in on the controversial call to tie the best-of-seven series at one game each. While the Angels cried foul Wednesday, not a single member of the team or coaching staff went to the ballpark Thursday, preferring to rest and look ahead to Game 3 tonight at Angel Stadium instead of looking back. center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week While comparisons have been made to umpire Don Denkinger’s blown call at first base in the 1985 World Series, that took place in Game 6, giving the St. Louis Cardinals little time to recover. The Angels’ misfortune took place in Game 2, with most of the series still to be played. “It was a bad call, but it’s over,” said third-string catcher Josh Paul, who was thrust into the spotlight after playing in only 34 regular-season games. “We have to battle back.” The Angels are used to battling back in the playoffs. Their Game 1 win over the White Sox was their first Game 1 victory in any playoff series since they beat Boston in Game 1 of the ALCS on Oct. 7, 1986. Splitting in Chicago, while not under the circumstances they would have liked, leaves them in a good position with the next three games in Anaheim. And even though they are without ace Bartolo Colon, the Angels are comfortable handing the ace role – at least for this series – to John Lackey, tonight’s starter. Lackey was 14-5 with a 3.44 ERA and ranked third in the A.L. with 199 strikeouts. “Well, yeah, John is ready to take on a lead role of this team from a pitching standpoint,” Angels pitching coach Bud Black said. “He likes the responsibility that comes with being a starting pitcher. I see no (hesitation) with John when he has the ball, ever.” last_img

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