Sox ready to taste Big Apple

Hernandez, Sox ready to taste Big Apple

Manager Ozzie Guillen may try to deny that any games or opponents have extra meaning to his team as a whole, but when it comes to individuals, he doesn't shy away from acknowledging that certain games will mean more than others.

That is exactly the case in Monday's game, as the White Sox square off against the Yankees for Game 1 of the three-game series. Orlando Hernandez will get the start and it will be the first time that he has faced his former team since signing with the Sox this past offseason.

"Will Duque be pumped up? Of course, there is no doubt about it," Guillen said. "Everybody feels the same way. I think we have those two guys [Hernandez and Jose Contreras] that just came out of the New York system and I know they are going to be pumped up. Hopefully, they don't try to overdo, just go there and pitch their game. It's going to be fun, fun to watch."

Guillen isn't too worried about Hernandez's performance, as the right-hander has gone 4-0 with a 3.56 ERA over his last five road starts.

Mike Mussina will start for the Yankees. Mussina has not won since July 24 and has given up at least three runs in each of his last two starts. Mussina has had an up-and-down career against the White Sox, going 12-14 with a 4.81 ERA in 30 starts.

Pitching matchup:
NYY: RHP Mike Mussina
• 10-7, 4.05 ERA in 2005
• 1-1, 4.40 ERA vs. CWS in 2004

CWS: RHP Orlando Hernandez
• 9-3, 4.33 ERA in 2005
• First appearance vs. NYY

Player to watch
A.J. Pierzynski seems to have Mussina's number. Pierzynski is a career .533 (8-for-15) hitter, with three doubles and four RBIs, against the right-hander.

"We've played pretty solid teams throughout the year. I don't think you measure yourself against one team. I think we measure ourselves by what we've got in this clubhouse. I think we got the guys to do it. We just have to go out and do it." -- Jon Garland, on facing the Yankees

On the Internet
Gameday Audio
• Gameday
• Official game notes

On television

On radio
• NYY: WCBS 880, WADO 1280 (Español)
• CWS: ESPN Radio 1000

Quick hits
Paul Konerko has homered in back-to-back games and had four homers and nine RBIs during the team's recent homestand. ... Nine of Joe Crede's 16 home runs this season have been solo shots. ... Pierzynski has a season-high 10 game hitting streak. ... The Sox are a season-high 34 games over .500 for the second time this season.

On deck
• Tueday: at Yankees, 6:05 p.m.
• Wednesday: at Yankees, 12:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Off-day

Kelly Thesier is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.