Lackey likes his home cooking

John Lackey, in his latest blog, is glad to be home and hopes the Angels can put pressure on Curt Schilling today. Angels-Red Sox games are sometimes 50-50 when it comes to fan support but much more Angels fans than usual seem to have put their tickets to use instead of selling them. Fan support is part of Lackey’s plan to get back into the series.

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Angels lineup for Game 3

Casey Kotchman is out of action with a non-baseball related illness (another way of saying that new privacy laws prevent the Angels from being specific) and will not play today. His availability appears to be in question for Monday as well, if the Angels can win today. Here is the Game 3 starting lineup:

Figgins CF
Cabrera SS
Guerrero RF
Anderson LF
Morales 1B
Izturis 3B
Kendrick 2B
Rivera DH
Napoli C

Weaver P

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Weaver refuses to leave team

Manager Mike Scioscia said there was a discussion about whether or not to send Jered Weaver home early so he would be able to get his rest. Weaver will pitch Sunday against the Red Sox’s Curt Schilling in a noon start at Angel Stadium.

We talked about it, but he wanted to see the game and he’s gonna be able to sleep on the plane, Scioscia said. He will have a day to recover and rest and pitch on Sunday.

The Red Sox took a different route. Both Schilling and Josh Beckett flew to Southern California on Friday night.

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Lineups for Game 2

Angels lineup for Game 2 against Daisuke Matsuzaka:

Chone Figgins CF
Orlando Cabrera SS
Vladimir Guerrero RF
Garret Anderson LF
Maicer Izturis 3B
Casey Kotchman 1B
Kendry Morales DH
Howie Kendrick 2B
Jeff Mathis C

Kelvim Escobar P

Guerrero’s return to RF is confirmed. Anderson’s pink eye does not force him to the bench. Izturis stays in the five hole. Morales gets the nod as DH over Juan Rivera and hits seventh, giving the Angels back-to-back left-handers with Kotchman sixth. Reggie Willits heads to the bench. Kendrick drops from seventh in Game 1 to eighth. Mathis replaces Mike Napoli at catcher.

Red Sox lineup vs. Escobar:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
David Ortiz DH
Manny Ramirez LF
Mike Lowell 3B
JD Drew RF
Jason Varitek C
Coco Crisp CF
Julio Lugo SS

Daisuke Matsuzaka P

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Fenway conspiracy theory

Perhaps the Red Sox are using water to gain an advantage over the Angels. That’s right … water. Some members of the Southern California media remarked after the Angels’ workout Thursday that the grounds crew hosed the infield with an extraordinary amount of water. Water actually collected on top of the dirt and took a while to absorb into the ground. The Angels are a running team and running on a wet track certainly can make a difference. Just ask any horse handicapper how different results are when the race track is wet with rain.

Granted, it seemed like a stretch to think the grounds crew was ordered to flood the field to slow Angels baserunners. Heck, after Game 1 it isn’t like the Angels have had than many baserunners to worry about. But then this happened: One member of the Boston media, overhearing these flooded infield comments, admitted that he had never witnessed that much water on the Fenway Park infield. Hmmmm. Very curious.

It seemed like the moisture would have had plenty of time to dry in 24 hours, but looking at the infield right now (5 p.m. Eastern time and 3 hours before first pitch of Game 2) it still looks very damp. It’s not muddy my any means, but the dirt only seems to be dry around the edges of the infield, far from the baselines. It is a much deeper shade of brown in the baselines.

Maybe there is nothing to the infield issue. But there was a problem in the Diamondbacks-Cubs series with dirt that was heavily watered. It might be something to watch tonight.

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Red Sox 4, Angels 0

It was Josh Beckett, Josh Beckett and more Josh Beckett as the Red Sox right-hander dominated the wounded Angels in Game 1 of the ALDS. In the CROWDED Angels locker room afterward it was quiet, as expected, but it wasn’t like everybody was crushed by the defeat. The Angels know how to win an ALDS after losing the opener since they did it in both 2002 and 2005. But Friday is a must-win game. They do not want to set up a scenario where they have to beat the Red Sox in three consecutive games.

“Every game here is a game you feel you want to win,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s a short series. Every game will have significance but I think the best way to go about our business on Friday is the pitch-to-pitch, inning-to-inning approach and hopefully have more success on the offensive side.”

It’s hard to have any less success than the shutout, which was only the second for the Angels in their postseason history. They also were blanked in Game 4 of the 1979 ALCS vs. Baltimore.

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Matthews not on ALDS roster

Gary Matthews was not selected by the Angels for the ALDS which begins on Wednesday. Matthews still is experiencing pain in his left knee and didn’t want to take any chances. Erick Aybar made the roster as a last-minute replacement.

In a late switch, Bartolo Colon was supposed to be on the ALDS roster but he experienced wlbow pain in Tuesday’s workout and was removed. Dustin Moseley, who had just been told that he would not pitch in the series, was called back to manager Mike Scioscia’s office and told he would indeed by on the 25-man roster.

Pitchers: Lackey, Escobar, Weaver, Saunders, Moseley, Santana, Oliver, Speier, Shields, Rodriguez.

Infielders: Figgins, Izturis, Cabrera, Aybar, Quinlan, Kendrick, Kotchman, Morales

Catchers: Napoli, Mathis

Outfielders: Anderson, Guerrero, Willits, Haynes, Rivera

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