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MLB Notes: Angels get first cracks at Matsuzaka

BOSTON -- The Angels have a mystery to solve tonight: Will it be Dice-K in the library with a slider, or Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with a "gyroball?"

The Angels and Red Sox played 10 times during the regular season, but the Angels and high-priced Japanese import Daisuke Matsuzaka managed to avoid each other every time. The Angels, down 1-0 in the best-of-5 division series, face Matsuzaka for the first time in Game 2 tonight.

"I think when you first face a pitcher there's probably a slight advantage to the pitcher just in picking up release points, picking up the spin on the ball, picking up where the ball is breaking -- is it a late break or more of a slurve -- what his arm speed is like," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You need to be in the batter's box to pick those up. So we'll have to make a quick study."

Hitting coach Mickey Hatcher agreed watching videotape can take a hitter only so far.

"A lot of it is just hoping these guys make the adjustments from at-bat to at-bat," Hatcher said. "You can take all the philosophy from them (scouting reports), 'Hey, this guy is going to do this or that.' But once you step in the batter's box, it can all change."

COOLBAUGH NOT FORGOTTEN -- Manager Clint Hurdle revealed before Thursday's game that the Rockies players, on their own accord, voted a playoff share to Amanda Coolbaugh, the widow of Tulsa Drillers first-base coach Mike Coolbaugh. Coolbaugh was killed July 22 when a line drive struck him in the head during a game. Tulsa is the Rockies' Double-A farm team.

CUT! ... ERRR SPRAIN? -- Yankees first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz got tangled up with a TV cameraman and injured his left ankle just hours before the Yankees' playoff opener Thursday against the Indians. He popped out in his only at-bat and was replaced by pinch-hitter Shelly Duncan in the fifth inning.

The cameraman, a freelancer, was fired by the YES Network. The network did not reveal his name. The accident occurred while Mientkiewicz was walking up a ramp at Jacobs Field. The cameraman was recording while backpedaling. "My ankle rolled," Mientkiewicz said. "It's going to deter (me) from stealing like 15 bases."

SHORT HOPS -- Tigers designated hitter Gary Sheffield will have shoulder surgery Monday but is expected to be ready for spring training. ... Padres right fielder Brian Giles had microfracture surgery on his right knee.

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