ALCS notebook

Not to be a wet blanket

Cold in October
By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / October 24, 2009

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NEW YORK - Rain started falling about 30 minutes after the Yankees finished a brief workout late yesterday afternoon. If weather reports are to be believed, the storm will continue and could delay, if not postpone, Game 6 tonight against the Angels.

But the rain predicted to disrupt the first two games of the series last week never materialized. So the players are assuming they’ll take the field as scheduled.

“We never got a drop of rain,’’ said Andy Pettitte, tonight’s starter for the Yankees. “I remember starting a game here when it was coming down sideways and I couldn’t see home plate. So I figure we’re going to play, that’s the way I look at it.’’

If the game is postponed, the Yankees would be able to start CC Sabathia on regular rest. But manager Joe Girardi said Pettitte will start Game 6 regardless of when it is played.

“We don’t really have any plans of changing our rotation,’’ he said.

The Angels would welcome rain. An extra day off in the series would allow them to start John Lackey on three days’ rest in a potential Game 7 Monday. The alternative would be Jered Weaver, who pitched an inning of relief Thursday and was hit hard in Game 3.

“We’ve talked about a lot of different scenarios,’’ Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re going to let this thing unfold a little bit and see how the weekend goes. If there is an opportunity to look at bringing a guy like John back, it’s something we certainly would consider. We’ve talked about a bunch of things.’’

Nearly every player on the Yankees’ postseason roster attended yesterday’s optional workout. Players were dressed in cold-weather gear as wind swept through Yankee Stadium. The Angels practiced at home before flying to New York.

Swisher could sit
Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher hit 29 home runs and drove in 82 runs during the regular season. A .371 on-base percentage compensated for a .249 batting average.

But Swisher is 3 for 29 (.103) with one run scored, one RBI, and 10 strikeouts through eight postseason games. His .212 OBP is anemic as well and Girardi did not discount the idea of moving center fielder Melky Cabrera to right and starting Brett Gardner in center.

“We’ll sleep on it and we’ll make a decision what we’re going to do. Obviously he has struggled. But Swisher is a good player and Swisher has done a lot of good things for us this year,’’ the manager said.

The Angels, Swisher said, have pitched him backward. He is getting breaking pitches in fastball counts and has been unable to adjust.

“It’s one of those things where you want to do so well and it just hasn’t happened,’’ Swisher said. “These guys have my number for right now.’’

Swisher has hit .151 in 18 career postseason games with two RBIs and no home runs.

Happy to be there
Los Angeles third baseman Chone Figgins told reporters in California that the Angels were loose after winning Game 5. “It’s going to be another crazy game, I can tell you that. You go back and just enjoy it,’’ he said. “The pressure is on both teams.’’ . . . New York’s two young setup men, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, have combined to allow four runs on 16 hits over 7 1/3 postseason innings. Opponents have hit .432 against them. Girardi said his confidence in Hughes remained high . . . Alex Rodriguez has 12 hits in the postseason, five of them home runs.

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