10/20/2003 1:12 AM ET
Marlins' Game 4 starter undecided
Carl Pavano or Dontrelle Willis will get the start
NEW YORK -- When it comes to setting his World Series rotation, Marlins manager Jack McKeon is clearly taking a wait-and-see approach.
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
All that is given is right-hander Josh Beckett will start Game 3 of the World Series on Tuesday night at Pro Player Stadium.
Game 4 on Wednesday, however, remains undisclosed.
McKeon and pitching coach Wayne Rosenthal have discussed the situation. They just haven't finalized it.
The two possibilities are right-hander Carl Pavano and rookie left-hander Dontrelle Willis.
Asked if a decision has been made after the Marlins lost Game 2, 6-1, to the Yankees on Sunday, McKeon flatly said: "No."
In all likelihood, it appears Pavano would get the call for Game 4.
That's because the Marlins are thin in terms of left-handed relievers. Seldom-used Michael Tejera has pitched 1 1/3 innings in the postseason. Willis, a harder thrower, is better suited to face the lefties in the Yankees' lineup late in the game.
"I'll be ready to take the ball whenever," said Willis, who tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium. "You basically just stay on guard, which is good. It keeps everybody on their toes."
Pavano tossed one scoreless inning of relief in the Game 2 loss.
It was his first appearance since he started Game 6 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field last Tuesday.
"I want the ball," said Pavano, "I think all of us are up for it. We want the ball. We want the opportunity. This is the World Series. Whatever role we are needed in, we are willing to do. It's got us this far, so why stop now? Why look back?"
With a makeshift rotation, the staff has been asked to assume different roles. In the postseason, Pavano, Willis, Beckett and Brad Penny have each started and appeared in relief.
McKeon said Pavano's one inning Sunday doesn't hurt his chances of starting Wednesday.
"We brought Pavano in just to get an inning of work," McKeon said.
Pavano, 2-0 in the postseason, welcomed the chance to get into a World Series game.
"It felt good to get out there and get some work in," he said. "I felt strong. The last day I was out there was five days ago in Chicago."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.