I don’t know why everyone was talking about how easy of a time the Chicago White Sox would have beating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last night, I could have told you it was gonna be a tough game. Sure, the Angels had to fly well over 4000 miles in less than three days. Sure they didn’t get to their hotel rooms here in Chicago until six in the morning. And sure they were facing a White Sox team that had three days to rest and prepare for them. But that’s exactly why the Sox were destined to lose.
How could people not see that those three days off actually hurt the Sox. They had just won eight games in a row and were playing baseball that matched the intesity of their rivals, if not exceeded it. Now they were suddenly put into a position of forced complacency for three days with nothing to do but take batting practice, shag fly balls, and wait for the Angels/Yankees series to end.
Meanwhile, though they were certainly tired, the Angels have nothing but momentum on their side. Just over 15 hours earlier, they’d beaten the storied New York Yankees in a classic five game NLDS series. The joy from this victory alone would be enough to fuel them for at least two days. They celebrated and hopped on a plane to Chicago. Who knows how much sleep they got, but really, how much could that actually matter? This is playoff baseball.
I mean I’ve been known to go out to the bars until 4:00 am only to have to get up to go golfing with my friends at 6 or 7 that same morning. I do it and I love it. I don’t necessarily play well, but that’s not because of lack of sleep as much as it is a lack of talent. I don’t care if these guys were playing on 20 minutes sleep. The desire to play overrides anything else. And the desire to win is the strongest of all.
So I think it was ignorant for people to look for the Angels to roll over. And if I were the Angels, I’d be thrilled to death that people were expecting us to. I still believe that the White Sox win this series. But I think it’ll go all seven games and I think it’ll be fun as hell to watch.
And as long as I’m making predictions, I think that the Astros beat the Cardinals. I also think this series go seven games. The Cards will win 1-0 tonight as both Petitte and Carpenter pitch complete games. Oswalt and Clemens will win the following two games. Then they’ll alternate wins, leaving Houston to move on to the World Series for the first time in their franchise’s history.