Buehrle ready to go for Game 2 start
Lefty pitched to mixed results against Angels in regular season
CHICAGO -- White Sox starter Mark Buehrle is determined to be at his best when he takes the mound against the Angels in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday.
He has no choice and he knows it. So does his manager, Ozzie Guillen.
The Angels won the season series against the White Sox, 6-4, including four of six games in Chicago.
"To be the best, you've got to win against the best," Guillen said. "To me, there's no doubt about it, [Los Angeles] is a team that has got better balance than any other team in the American League. They have power, they have good pitching, they have a great bullpen, and a great manager who knows how to handle his players."
Guillen is right. But he also has a few weapons of his own.
In Game 2 of the AL Division Series against the Red Sox, Buehrle was charged with four runs on eight hits in seven innings. He struck out two batters and walked one. He gave up two hits in one-third of an inning for the White Sox in the ALDS in 2000.
That's the good Buehrle.
In three games against the Angels this season, Buehrle posted an 0-0 record with a 3.47 ERA in 23 1/3 innings during his starts against the club. On Sept. 9, his last start against the Angels, he allowed five runs and 10 hits in six innings. On May 24, he allowed one run and four hits in nine innings in Anaheim, his first start of the season against the Angels.
Still pretty good.
"Two times I pitched good, one time I [messed] up a little bit," Buehrle said. "I don't think they're as good offensively as Boston is. Obviously every guy in that lineup can hurt you. I've got to go out there and throw up more zeros. We don't have to face Bartolo [Colon], so hopefully jump on them and get a lead."
Overall, Buehrle is 1-2 with a 3.80 ERA in 66 1/3 innings against the Angels in his career. He's ready for the Angels because he knows them, partly because he plays for a team with a similar style.
"Obviously, they're kind of built like we are. You've got speed at the top of the lineup, power in the middle, guys at the end of the lineup that can get on base to get back to the top of the lineup," Buehrle said. "They're one of the better offenses in baseball, and I think it's proven that they go out there and scored a lot of runs during the season."
If Buehrle and the White Sox can get past the Angels in the ALCS and the St. Louis Cardinals top the Houston Astros in the National League Championship Series, it would be like heaven for the left-hander. Buehrle grew up a Cardinals fan in Missouri.
"We've got to concentrate on this series, but obviously we're two of the four teams that are left," he said. "I mean, getting the opportunity to face them, if I pitch at Busch Stadium, it would be a dream come true. I've always wanted to pitch in Busch Stadium. I kind of joke around with my family knowing that I know who they're going to root for. If we get the opportunity, it would be a dream come true."
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.