10/03/08 7:38 PM ET
Rivera, Mathis in lineup for Game 2
Catcher Napoli, outfielder Matthews head to bench for Halos
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
The decision to start Rivera and bat him sixth was the only surprise, as Scioscia announced Mathis would start at catcher on Thursday because he has become almost a personal catcher for Ervin Santana.
|Angels manager Mike Scioscia shuffled his lineup for Game 2 on Friday night.|
Mathis has caught all but 30 of Santana's innings this year. The right-hander has a 3.19 ERA when Mathis catches and a 5.40 ERA when he doesn't.
"There's real tendencies showing up with Jeff and Ervin Santana," Scioscia said Thursday. "So we have to take advantage." Scioscia hinted that there would be a change in the outfield, as Kendry Morales and Reggie Willits were two other candidates to play right field.But Scioscia went with Rivera, who brings power. He hit .246 with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs in 89 games this season. Rivera also has plenty of postseason experience, playing in 24 games and hitting .264 with a home run and five RBIs. Rivera is 0-for-1 with an RBI against Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka in his career, while Mathis is 0-for-4 with an RBI against Matsuzaka, including last year's Division Series.
Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.