Think the Angels are having second thoughts these days?
Had they known Josh Beckett will be unable to pitch until Game Three of the American League Division Series at the earliest, they might have made a different choice when it came to which series they wanted to play.
As holder of the American League's best record, Los Angeles of Anaheim got to pick whether it wanted to play the eight-day series in the ALDS (the series that starts tomorrow and ends next Wednesday), or the seven-day series (which starts Thursday and ends Wednesday). The advantage of playing the eight-day series is you can use both of your top pitchers twice -- the No. 1 starter will have sufficient rest to pitch Games One and Four, and the No. 2 starter can work Games Two and Five -- and you don't have to use your fourth starter at all.
That's the series the Angels chose, to concentrate the workload on their top three pitchers: John Lackey, Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders.
But now that the Red Sox don't have Beckett until Game Three at the earliest, if at all, the Angels could have chosen the seven-day series and forced the Sox to use Tim Wakefield in addition to Beckett, Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka. And if Beckett is unable to go, the Sox would have had to use Paul Byrd.
As it is, the Angels will face Lester and Matsuzaka twice each if the series goes five games, with Beckett -- or Wakefield -- pitching once. But if they'd taken the seven-day series, they would have faced Lester twice and Matsuzaka, Wakefield, and either Beckett or Byrd once.