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Angels-White Sox: Pitching analysis

Angels-White Sox: Pitching analysis

  Chicago White Sox

 Jose Contreras RHP
The hot second half for Contreras stretched into the Division Series as he defeated the Red Sox, allowing eight hits and just two runs over 7 2/3 innings. Contreras fanned six and didn't allow a walk. Manager Ozzie Guillen has said Contreras has the best arm on the White Sox staff. The difference in the second half of the season, when Contreras went 11-2, was improved command.
Pitches: Fastball, split-fingered fastball, slider, changeup
Speed: 93-96 mph

 Mark Buehrle LHP
Buehrle wasn't dominating, but had enough to get the win over Boston in his Division Series start. Buehrle allowed eight hits and four earned runs over seven innings. A command pitcher and an innings-eater, Buehrle slipped to some extent in the second half. But he won his last two regular-season starts to finish 16-8. Typically, he walked just 40 in 235 2/3 innings. He has been the most consistent White Sox starter over time, throwing a sinker that allows him to get outs quickly and generally be pitch-efficient.
Pitches: Fastball, sinker, cut fastball, slider, changeup
Speed: 84-92 mph
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 Jon Garland RHP
The good news for the White Sox was that they needed only three starters to sweep the Red Sox. But that raises the question of whether Garland will be rusty when he takes the mound for Game 3 of the ALCS. Garland will be working with a two-week layoff. He had a breakthrough season in 2005, going 18-10 despite a 3-5 finish. He threw more strikes this year and his confidence grew as Guillen showed a willingness to stay with him if he had difficulties in the middle innings.
Pitches: Slider, four-seam fastball, sinker
Speed: 85-94 mph

 Freddy Garcia RHP
Garcia took on the challenge of starting Game 3 of the Division Series in raucous Fenway Park and emerged a winner after working five innings and allowing five hits and three runs. A workhorse over the course of his career, Garcia didn't have his peak season. But he was a reliable part of a formidable starting rotation, with a 14-8 record.
Pitches: Fastball, slider, changeup
Speed: 90-94 mph

  Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

 Paul Byrd RHP
Byrd struggled against the Yankees in the Division Series, allowing seven hits and four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. But he proved to be a valuable free agent pickup for the Angels during the regular season, showcasing himself as the finesse pitcher of the starting rotation. Byrd outthinks the hitters and keeps them off balance with precise location, great command and change of speeds.

Pitches: Fastball, changeup, curve
Speed: 74-89 mph

 John Lackey RHP
Lackey was strong in the Division Series, working 11 1/3 innings in two starts and allowing just three runs against the Yankees. Lackey fanned nine and walked nine. This became a breakthrough season for Lackey because he mastered the art of changing speeds. He stopped trying to simply overpower hitters and relied on better command. Lackey is now a more mature pitcher and a more difficult pitcher to hit.
Pitches: Fastball, cut fastball, curve, changeup
Speed: 78-95 mph

 Bartolo Colon or Ervin Santana RHPs
Colon has been the ace of the staff all year, but his status is unknown after he was forced to leave Game 5 of the Division Series in the second inning with a sore right shoulder. He will be re-examined Tuesday. If he can go, Colon is the starter the Angels would most want on the mound. He no longer throws as consistently hard as he used to, but can still reach 97 with the fastball. If Colon is out, 22-year-old Ervin Santana would likely take his place in the rotation. Santana saved the Angels in Game 5 against the Yankees by delivering 5 1/3 innings of solid relief, allowing just three runs. Santana has a power arm and showed his poise in a make-or-break situation on Monday.
Pitches: (Colon) Fastball, two-seam fastball, slider, changeup. Speed: 84-97 mph. (Santana) Fastball, slider, sinker, changeup
Speed: 78-95 mph

 Jarrod Washburn LHP
Washburn missed his scheduled turn in the Division Series when he came down ill in New York. He has also been bothered by tendinitis in his left forearm. But if he is healthy, Washburn is still a very difficult lefty to solve. He does not have as much velocity as he did earlier in his career, but he has compensated with better command and a greater variety of pitches.
Pitches: Fastball, splitter, curve, changeup
Speed: 78-91 mph

Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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