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Wells pumped for Game 4 challenge
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Division Series
10/05/2002 2:29 pm ET 
Wells pumped for Game 4 challenge
By Jim Street /

David Wells is 4-0 with a 1.95 ERA in five Division Series starts. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

ANAHEIM -- There were many reasons David Wells jumped at the chance to return to the Yankees this season.

One of them is he really likes George Steinbrenner. Another is the Yankees are always playing games in October when so many other teams aren't.

"When I was traded in '99," Wells said Friday, "I knew Toronto had slim chances of going to the postseason. That was tough to swallow, knowing the Yankees had the team, the depth and the desire to go to the postseason every year.

Back to "Everyone plays their butt off every year to get here and I want to pitch in the postseason."

In his first year back with the Yankees, Wells is in the playoffs and will start Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Anaheim Angels Saturday afternoon at Edison Field.

"It's not fun watching it on TV," Wells added. "The last three years I wasn't in the postseason, I very seldom paid any attention to the playoffs, except for last year when I did some analyzing with John Kruk on (FOX's) 'The Best Damn Sports Show'."

The Yankees are counting on Wells putting on a pretty darn good show in Game 4.

The 18-game winner takes on a Wild Card team that is performing much better than most expected.

    David Wells   /   P
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 235
Bats/Throws: L/L
Nickname: Boomer

More info:
Red Sox site
"I have faced a lot of these guys for a long time and it's a matter of me going out there, hitting my spots and being effective," he said. "Everyone knows strike one is best pitch in the game. Hopefully every pitch I throw is for strikes. If I can throw everything for strikes, I think I am going to have a good day. Location is everything and basically, keep them off balance is what I have to do."

Wells said he loves challenges and Saturday's game ranks at the top, so far this season.

Yankees manager Joe Torre has seen that side of Wells.

"I think he likes to be challenged," he said. "When you dare him to do something, or tell him, 'You're a little too heavy, David, I think you should lose some weight', he is going to show you he can pitch at that weight."

Pitching at something well above 200 pounds this season, Wells posted a 19-7 record, winning 12 of his final 14 decisions, losing only to Oakland and Toronto.

"As far as I'm concerned, right now he's same pitcher we had last time," Torre said. "He's his own person. I can't say he has his own fear, but he has a great deal of confidence. He dares people. . .he dares you to hit him and that's why he throws so many strikes."

The manager pointed to a start Wells made against the Seattle Mariners on August 16 that flipped the switch that led to such a grand finish.

"He worked with Mel Stottlemyre on his delivery and since then he has been very consistent, very good and economic pitch-wise," he said.

That has been a winning combination.

Jim Street is a reporter for and can be reached at This story was not subject to the approval of MLB or its clubs.

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