The last time Angels left-hander Joe Saunders threw a pitch, the Halos were catching routine infield popups, throwing to the correct base virtually every time, and he was nailing down his seventh consecutive victory.
That was way back on Oct. 4, the final day of the regular season.
"Well rested" is one way to describe the 16-game winner, who hopes to get the Angels even with the Yankees on Saturday night in Game 2 of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.
The game will be televised at 7:57 p.m. ET on FOX and is the only Major League action on tap for the day as the Dodgers and Phillies -- deadlocked at 1-1 in the National League Championship Series -- will resume play Sunday in Philadelphia.
Saunders would have pitched Game 4 of the Angels' AL Division Series vs. the Red Sox, but there wasn't one, and now his primary responsibility is to shut down a Yankees team that has won four straight postseason games and is steamrolling toward another Fall Classic.
Of course, the resilient Angels have proven all season that their "A" game -- though a no-show on Friday night -- is tough to beat, and one game does not win or lose a series.
Surely, the prognosticators are well aware that Saunders beat the Yankees 5-2 on Sept. 21 at Angel Stadium, despite surrendering two hits apiece to long-time nemeses Derek Jeter (7-for-15, 1 HR lifetime vs. Saunders) and Alex Rodriguez (7-for-14, 2 HR).
While that dynamic duo has given Saunders plenty of headaches, A.J. Burnett has had his hands full with Angels right fielder Bobby Abreu, who's rung up a .313 average (20-for-64) and 11 RBIs lifetime vs. the Yankees' Game 2 starter.
The chart below breaks down how experts from MLB.com and MLB Network see Game 2 of the ALCS shaking out.
ALCS Game 2 Predictions
|MLBN||LAA||0||2||1||Burnett masters Halos with complete-game two-hitter.|
|MLB.com||LAA||2||7||0||Tex homers; Burnett dominates.|
|MLBN||LAA||2||8||1||Yanks break out power bats; Burnett does job.|
|MLBN||LAA||10||15||1||Halos "steal" victory in Bronx.|
|MLBN||LAA||7||7||0||Saunders does enough; 'pen does the rest.|