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ALCS Game 6 notebook: Weather could alter Los Angeles Angels rotation

Joe Saunders, above, likely would start Game 6, even if rained out. But John Lackey could start Game 7 instead of Jered Weaver.

Associated Press

Joe Saunders, above, likely would start Game 6, even if rained out. But John Lackey could start Game 7 instead of Jered Weaver.

NEW YORK — The potential for bad weather and a postponement is again looming over the ALCS.

And that could work out really well for the Angels.

Their current plans are to start LHP Joe Saunders in Game 6 tonight and RHP Jered Weaver in a potential Game 7 on Sunday. But if the games were pushed back, manager Mike Scioscia said Friday that they would look at bringing back ace RHP John Lackey, who pitched so well Thursday in Game 5, on three days' rest to pitch Game 7.

"It's something we could certainly consider," Scioscia said.

The Yankees, manager Joe Girardi said, will stick with their plans no matter the schedule, with veteran LHP Andy Pettitte pitching Game 6 and LHP ace CC Sabathia, who will be on full rest anyway, set for a potential finale.

"We don't really have any plans of changing our rotation," he said.

DANDY ANDY: The Yankees are very comfortable with Pettitte, who will make his majors-record 38th postseason start, on the mound. And he is very excited to be there, saying one of the primary reasons he returned to the Yankees this season was to pitch a clinching game at home.

"For me, I mean, this is it. This is what I came back for. It's kind of all worked out," he said. "And we have a tremendous opportunity here. I have a tremendous opportunity to help this organization get back to another World Series. More than anything, I'm just thankful for that.

"I'm thankful I've been healthy all year. It's been a great year, and hopefully we can wrap this thing up. It will be special."

Pettitte, 37, has pitched in 10 potential postseason clinchers and is 4-2. His teams are 6-4.

SWISH MISS: Girardi is at least contemplating dropping RF Nick Swisher, who is hitting .103 (3-for-29) with 10 strikeouts and one RBI in the postseason, from the lineup, with Brett Gardner the potential replacement.

Swisher remains confident he can turn things around. "One swing, and I'm back on track," he said. "It's one of those situations where you want to do so well, and it hasn't happened."

The history: Only six teams have rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win a League Championship Series. The most recent was Boston over Cleveland in 2007. Sabathia pitched Game 5 of that series for the Indians, who lost the final two games in Boston. Before that was 2004, when the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit against the Yankees. Including the World Series, only 11 of 70 teams that fell behind 3-1 came back.

MISCELLANY: Girardi said SS Derek Jeter, who has been bothered by flulike symptoms, sounded better. … The Angels, who swept the Red Sox in the Division Series, made their fifth cross-country flight in the past 14 days.

ALCS Game 6 notebook: Weather could alter Los Angeles Angels rotation 10/23/09 [Last modified: Friday, October 23, 2009 10:33pm]
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