All factors -- even a newborn -- considered, Garcia is rested.
In his last start, he allowed three runs and five hits in five innings against the Red Sox in Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Oct. 7. He allowed two home runs to Manny Ramirez and one by David Ortiz and walked four batters.
Garcia became a mere side note for the White Sox during their sweep-clinching victory. Orlando Hernandez was one of the many stars, retiring the side in order with the bases loaded in the sixth inning.
"I don't know. I guess it's good luck," said Hernandez afterward. "People think I separate the postseason from the other games, and I don't. It's just another baseball game. Maybe it's the atmosphere."
As for Garcia, he has been waiting for these moments a long time -- literally. His previous start before Boston came on Sept. 29, when he was charged with eight hits and two runs during seven innings against the Tigers.
Whether the extra rest is an advantage is to be determined. Garcia sees it both ways
"I'm the kind of pitcher, I like to pitch every five days," Garcia said. "With Boston, it was like seven days. Sometimes that's no good for me. I think I'll be fine. I'll have thrown a couple bullpens before this start, and I think I'll be ready to go [Saturday]."
For the season, Garcia was impressive. He went 14-8 with a 3.87 ERA in 228 innings during 33 starts in 2005. He went 10-3 with a 3.40 ERA on the road.
White Sox Ozzie Guillen said he factored Garcia's workload during the season in starting him Saturday. Guillen also considered Jon Garland's long layoff when putting the ALCS rotation together. Garland had not pitched in the postseason leading up to Friday's start.
"[Garcia] threw a lot of innings, and it gave me a chance to give him another day of rest, and I think you've got to give him one day before the start," Guillen said. "He starts tomorrow, that means he's going to start in so-many days. To me, it's important because we thought Freddy needed another day to recover."
"I've got a lot of innings," Garcia said. "I've been throwing a lot this year, and a couple days off, you know, it feels pretty good."
A rested Garcia could mean trouble for the Angels. He is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA against the Angels in 2005. He is 11-3 with a 2.66 ERA for his career against the Angels.
The veteran right-hander is squaring off against Angels pitching phenom Ervin Santana. The young pitcher shined with 5 1/3 stellar innings of relief in Game 5 of the ALDS against the Yankees when staff ace Bartolo Colon exited the game because of shoulder problems.
Santana, like Garcia, is on a roll.
"I don't worry about him," Garcia said. "I've got to worry about the guys I have to face. The hitters, they have to worry about Santana, no me. I've got to face the lineup."