10/24/09 8:30 PM EST
Angels not letting rain stall momentum
Saunders and Co. promise same intensity a day later
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
"When your back's against the wall, I don't think it makes much difference whether it's 100 degrees or 20 degrees," said Saunders, who will face Andy Pettitte at 5:20 p.m. PT on Sunday. "I like cold weather. I'd rather it be 40 degrees than 60."Actually, I think it's to both teams' advantage. Some guys felt a little tired down the stretch -- position players and pitchers. I think this is good for both teams. You can wake up when you want tomorrow and come out and play a game. It's a beautiful thing." The field on Saturday night would have been far from a beautiful thing. A swamp would have been more like it. "I don't think anybody wants to see a game of this magnitude decided by a fluke play," John Lackey said, "a guy falling down in the outfield, something like that.
- 2009 Regular Season
- Overall: 14-8, 32 GS, 4.16 ERA, 76 BB, 148 K
- Overall: 16-7, 31 GS, 4.60 ERA, 64 BB, 101 K
- Key stat: 231 career postseason innings pitched
- Key stat: 2.57 ERA in postseason this year
- Career: 15-9, 37 GS, 3.90 ERA, 62 BB, 148 K
- Career: 0-0, 2 GS, 4.63 ERA, 5 BB, 7 K
- At new Yankee Stadium
- 2009: 6-4, 16 GS, 4.59 ERA, 38 BB, 74 K
Career: 6-4, 16 GS, 4.59 ERA, 38 BB, 74 K
- 2009: Never pitched there during regular season
Career: Never pitched there during regular season
- Against this opponent
- 2009: 0-2, 2 GS, 7.88 ERA, 8 BB, 6 K
Career: 12-10, 45 GS, 4.38 ERA, 87 BB, 214 K
- 2009: 1-0, 2 GS, 4.72 ERA, 2 BBs, 6 Ks
Career: 2-1, 5 GS, 6.28 ERA, 10 BBs, 19 Ks.
- Loves to face.: Kendry Morales, 0-for-5, 1 K
Hates to face: Erick Aybar, 7-for-16, 2 RBI
- Loves to face: Mark Teixeira, 2-for-16, 1 K
Hates to face: Alex Rodriguez 7-for-14, 2 HR
- Game breakdown
- Why he'll win: Postseason experience
- Why he'll win: Pitched well at Yankee Stadium last time out
- Pitcher beware: Has struggled against Angels in his career
- Pitcher beware: Allowed 29 homers this year
- Bottom line: Can he add to postseason legacy?
- Bottom line: Can he continue to pitch well in the postseason?
"There wasn't much pressure," he said, grinning. "I was a rookie in 2004 and they brought me in with the bases loaded, nobody out to face Gary Sheffield at Yankee Stadium. No pressure at all."It was Sept. 9, Kazmir's fourth Major League appearance. He got Sheffield to pop up, walked Matsui to force in a run and struck out Posada and Bernie Williams. Lasting three innings, Kazmir yielded one earned run on two hits, walking three and striking out four. "He's obviously available if we need him," Scioscia said of Kazmir, "either [in Game 6] or Game 7. He's a candidate for that. There are so many variables to determine. "We'll have Lackey available in the bullpen. His bullpen day is two days after his start. Weaver last year [against Boston] showed his stuff can play at the back end of a game. Weav is a guy we're not going to shy away from using in any situation. He could be very important to us. "We have everybody available, and there are certain things to look at. Being able to add Kazmir, Weaver, Santana, obviously, in the 'pen, that gives us a lot of options." All hands on deck, and a much better weather forecast for Sunday in the New York area. A beautiful thing, Saunders calls it. Games decided by the athletes, not the elements, always fall into that category.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.