AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Oh, there’s hope for the Angels, who now find themselves in a 3-1 hole against the White Sox after being baffled, as usual, by Freddie Garcia Saturday night during a 8-2 setback witnessed by 44,857 disgruntled customers at Angeles Stadium. Why, they won’t be eliminated at least until this evening when they will attempt to dredge another victory out of Paul rd against the White Sox’s top pitcher, Jose Contreras. If you think they can remain alive, well, you’re in agreement with Mike Scioscia, who is slightly biased because he manages the Angels and gets paid enormous money uttering such optimistic rhetoric, even when his team looks as feeble and listless and just plain ignoble as it has the past two nights. “We’re just three games away from the World Series,” Scioscia told his players afterward. Yes, and I’m only 50 billion dollars away from being as rich as Bill Gates. Stranger occurrences have happened. Maybe they left their hearts and bats and will in that fierce combat they had with the New York Yankees. Maybe they have become so spooked by that weird ninth-inning Game 2 call of Doug Eddings that they have suffered a frightening lapse of amnesia and simply have forgotten how to do the things that resulted in 95 regular-season victories and the elimination of the mighty Yankees from the playoffs. Or maybe and this is the most logical explanation they have had the terrible misfortune to simply go up against a superior team. Whatever it is, the Angels now find themselves dangling haplessly from the American League Championship Series precipice against a Chicago White Sox colossus that is out-pitching, out-hitting, out-fielding, out-running, out-thinking and out-scoring them with scandalous ease. USC seemed beaten against Notre Dame Saturday, until the Trojans pulled out their final-second victory. But the Trojans have miracle workers in their top stars in Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. The Angels are saddled with the Hitless Wonder, Vladimir Guerrero, who, of course, went hitless Saturday night and has managed a whopping one insignificant single against the White Sox in 16 plate appearances. Can someone put out an APB on Guerrero, who seems to have forgotten how to hit a baseball and seems to have gone into hiding against the White Sox pitchers? Still, it was only a year ago when the Red Sox found themselves in a worse predicament than the Angels against the Yankees, when they trailed in the ALCS by an 0-3 count. Of course, the Red Sox had a few batsmen who could hit, like Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz and Johnny Damon and all the others, while the Angels have a bunch of guys who have done nothing more compelling in the past three games against the White Sox than make Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland and Freddie Garcia look like future first-ballot Hall of Fame inductees. All three went the distance against the Angels, who managed only 14 hits and four runs against them in a display of hitting woefulness that has been matched only by the erratic work of the team’s starting pitchers the past two games John Lackey and Ervin Santana. It’s not exactly stunning that Garcia muted the Angels, as he came into the game with a lifetime record of 11-3 against the Angels and was 6-1 at Angels Stadium. As is their custom, the White Sox got off quickly in the first inning, when the Dodger reject, Paul Konerko, delivered a three-run homer as the red-bedecked, ThunderStix-wielding crowd grew nervously quiet. The same ominous development also unfolded for the Angels Friday night when a two-run homer by Konerko highlighted another three-run, first-inning eruption by the White Sox on the way to their 5-2 Game 3 win. You can call the White Sox lot of things pesky, aggressive, scrappy, etc. but you will never describe them as slow-starters. During the regular season, they out-scored opponents in the first-inning by a 121-68 margin. In their seven games during the playoffs, they have a 12-2 advantage. It was obvious from that opening frame that the Angels’ Game 5 hero against the Yankees, the 22-year-old rookie Ervin Santana, wasn’t going to dispense a similar inspirational effort against the White Sox. After the Angels cut their deficit to 3-1 on Bengie Molina’s RBI single in the second inning, the White Sox counterpunched for another run in the third inning, when their designated hitter, Carl Everett, slammed a two-out single against the laboring Santana to score Jermaine Dye, who had reached base on a rare throwing error by the Angels’ shortstop Orlando Cabrera. A.J. Pierzynski, the man who conned umpire Doug Eddings into making his controversial call that, apparently, has left the Angels in a moribund state, slammed a lengthy home run over the center field wall to make it 5-1. The Angels would counter with a run in fourth inning on a Casey Kotchman double following a Garret Anderson, but everything was breaking in the White Sox’s favor, as they scored still another run in the fifth inning when they chased Santana on another two-out single by Everett to make it 6-2. This run was tainted, as the base-runner, Scott Podsednik, who had walked, seemed to be picked off at first base by Santana, but not to the only person who could render such a verdict, first base umpire Ed Rapuano. The Angels didn’t get the call, but it made no difference. The Angels didn’t score another run against Garcia or even seriously threaten him. The White Sox would tack on a couple of more in the eighth inning on Joe Crede’s single, but these runs were unneeded. By then, the Angels were hearing boos from their fans. By then, it was apparent the Angels were destined for another unsatisfactory finish in their own ball park. As that that great sage, Yogi Berra, once uttered, it’s not over till it’s over. But the Angels have done nothing since Doug Eddings made his misguided decision to indicate that they can compete successfully with a Chicago White Sox team that just might be destined for a World Series title, something not achieved by the long-cursed franchise since 1917. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!