Pettitte to pitch Sunday; Saunders likely as well
Updated 6:55 p.m.: Due to a forecast that calls for rain until nearly 11 p.m. tonight, Major League Baseball has postponed the ALCS Game 6 match up between the Angels and Yankees. Game 6 will now start at 8:20 p.m. on Sunday, and Game 7, if necessary, will start at 7:57 p.m. on Monday night.
For the Yankees, this weather-related development could be a bad break. Instead of facing Joe Saunders tonight, the team will likely face Jered Weaver on full rest on Sunday night, and the Angels now have John Lackey available to pitch Game 7 on short rest. Joe Girardi said on Thursday — when he should have found a way to wrap this series up that didn’t involve bring A.J. Burnett out for the 7th — that Andy Pettitte will still start Game 6 with CC Sabathia ready for either Game 7 or World Series Game 1. According to reports, he is sticking with that plan.
We are hearing now however that Mike Scioscia will stick with Saunders in Game 6. The Angels’ manager is hesitant to use Weaver, a fly ball pitcher, in home run-friendly Yankee Stadium and likes what Saunders, a lefty, has to offer. Still, Weaver will probably be available out of the pen with Lackey tabbed to start Game 7 on short rest on Monday.
As Yankee fans may recall, this is not the first time the team has ended up on the wrong side of a rain delay. In 2003, Game 4 of the ALCS was postponed, and the Yanks could not then turn to Mike Mussina to start Game 7. In 2004, Game 3 of the ALCS was postponed, and the Yanks had to turn to Kevin Brown and not El Duque in Game 7. This time, they will probably avoid Joe Saunders and instead face the far superior Jered Weaver.
As for ticketing, fans with tickets to Game 6 — or home game three — will be able to attend tomorrow night’s game. Fans with Game 7 tickets — or home game four — will not be admitted tomorrow night and instead will go on Monday if there is a game.
For the rest of us, we’ll have to wait another 24 excruciating hours for Game 6. I believe the two teams could have played tonight but not until around 10:30 or 11 p.m. Major League Baseball and FOX did not want to wait out this storm system. Although I don’t really blame them for delaying this one, I wonder if they should have played this afternoon. The weather forecast for tonight has called for rain for the last three or four days.
Feel free to use this as an open thread for the evening. We’ll be back later tonight with an overnight post. Make sure to keep it kosher and review the commenting guidelines if need be. If anything else comes to light about the Angels’ pitching plans, we’ll let you know.