Erstad picks with his heart

It should come as no surprise that former Angels standout, now White Sox player Darin Erstad picked Nebraska over USC in todays top college football matchup. The former Cornhuskers punter remains a huge supporter of Nebraska athletics. His only problem is the game will start an hour after tonight’s Angels-White Sox game meaning he won’t be able to see most of the early action. Asked for his prediction tonight, Erstad actually offered up a result. He said Nebraska will win by three.

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Colon well aware 500 is coming

Yes, Bartolo Colon does look in his rear-view mirror every once in a while, and in it he can see the White Sox’s Jim Thome with 499 home runs on his back. Thome will be going for No. 500 starting Friday and will first face off against Colon, who will start for the Angels.

Colon rarely speaks English unless, apparently, he is telling a joke.

“He will get it off me,” Colon quipped while pointing to his chest. “He was my teammate.”

Indeed Colon and Thome played with each other for a number of years during the height of the Cleveland Indians’ success in the 1990s. Colon nodded his head in the affirmative when asked if Thome was a good teammate.

Thome can become the third player to 500 home runs this season, following Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez.

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Santana out, Colon in

Manager Mike Scioscia announced today that Bartolo Colon will start Friday against the Chicago White Sox and that Ervin Santana will be dropped into the bullpen. If Santana were to make the playoff roster, it would be as a reliever anyway, so the Angels want to see if he can be an effective in that role. In essence, this looks like a three-week tryout to see if Santana can work his way onto the playoff roster. It already seems likely that Colon will not be a part of the postseason unless, of course, he is completely dominating in the three starts he would get before the end of the season.

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Figgins back in lineup

Chone Figgins will lead off and play third base, giving him his first start since Aug. 21. Figgins has been out with a bone bruise in his left wrist that he suffered while swinging right-handed. Figgins still hasn’t taken any cuts from the right side and will likely bat exclusively form the left side down the stretch. Figgins did appear in Thursday’s game as a pinch runner and late-inning defensive replacement. He did not get an at-bat. Vladimir Guerrero is still out with an inflammed right triceps. Here is today’s lineup vs. the Indians:

Figgins 3B
Cabrera SS
Anderson LF
Morales DH
Kotchman 3B
Izturis 2B
Matthews CF
Mathis C
Willits RF

Lackey P

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