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White Sox short hops

White Sox short hops

CHICAGO -- The White Sox were supposed to have the advantage in Game 1 of the ALCS with three days of rest and plenty of time to prepare for their next opponent.

But what looks good on paper isn't always necessarily the case.

Instead, it was the Angels who seemed to be full of energy as the Sox offense failed to capitalize on limited opportunities.

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Jose Contreras looked a little shaky early on but settled down to deliver a quality outing. Unfortunately, the offense didn't heat up with him.

The Sox are used to winning one-run games, but that trend could be reversed if the Sox hitters aren't able to tally hits in critical situations like they did during the ALDS against Boston.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 4 of the ALDS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 3.00 Pitching still up to form
BA .212 Three days of rest = rusty
BA w/ RISP .333 Lack of opportunities hurt
Runs 2 Sox used to low scoring but needed more
Errors 0 Missed double play comes back to hurt

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Jose Contreras 0-1, 1.20 ERA Retired 12 consecutive batters after shaky start

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Paul Konerko .000, 0 HR, 0 RBIs "Mr. Clutch" not so in Game 1

Behind the numbers
Though the numbers on Tuesday didn't appear as stellar for Contreras, it was another dominant outing. His 8 1/3 innings were the longest by a White Sox pitcher in the postseason since Wilson Alvarez's complete game in Game 3 of the 1993 ALCS.

Frozen moment
Known for accomplishing the little things, the Sox failed to execute two bunts that would have moved runners into scoring position. With one runner on in the eighth and ninth innings, Scott Podsednik and Aaron Rowand were unable to lay down a bunt that would have given the Sox scoring chances with only one out.

Second guess
Depending on which Sox player you talked to, A.J. Pierzynski's caught stealing in the seventh was either a missed hit-and-run or an aggressive move that turned sour. Either way it proved to be costly.

Nine not so lucky
Tuesday's game marked the fifth time this season that the Sox entered a game on an eight-game winning streak only to falter and keep them from winning nine-straight.

Not-so-sweet home, Chicago
The White Sox are now 0-6 lifetime at home in ALCS games. In those six home contests, Chicago has been outscored 33-10.

Last word
"It wasn't that they just totally overwhelmed us or we were flat and they were great, it was pretty evenly matched except for one run, and that was the difference." -- Konerko

Kelly Thesier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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