NEW YORK -- Mike Mussina, who started and won Game 1 of the Division Series, is still in California. He remained in Anaheim to rest up for a possible return engagement in Game 5 on Sunday. The emphasis, evidently, was on "Game 5," not on "Sunday." Saturday's rainout would have permitted the Yankees to send out a call to their veteran right-hander and have him hurry home to help them stave off elimination by starting against the Angels in Sunday night's rescheduled Game 4 on regular rest.
But Mussina will stay right where he is. There is no Moose Signal equivalent of the Bat Signal. "I talked to him five minutes ago," New York manager Joe Torre said at Yankee Stadium early Saturday afternoon, shortly after the postponement announcement. "He's doing fine." Torre added convincingly, "He is going to pitch Game 5 for us." So it remains up to Shawn Chacon to make that date happen. The right-handed revelation will take the mound as scheduled, bent on using all of his finesse and stuff on unplugging the Angels' electric attack. Barely two months after pitching to keep the Colorado Rockies within 30 games of .500, Chacon will be pitching to get the Yankees back to .500 in this five-game series. First pitch is at 8:15 p.m. ET; the FOX broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. ET. If the Yankees fall short, the East cleansing of the American League Championship Series will be complete, the Boston Red Sox having already bowed out. Only two of the 10 previous ALCS in the three-division era have not included an AL East representative -- 2002, when the Angels eliminated the Yankees and met the Twins, and in 1995, when the Mariners eliminated the Yankees and played the Indians. Chacon has often ascribed his success in pinstripes to finding himself in a situation where losing is not considered an option. That will never be truer than Sunday. "Sitting here and getting that chance ... I never thought that would happen for me," he admitted. His challenge will be to muffle an Angels attack that came in all sizes Friday night. The Angels' 19 hits, a postseason record for a franchise that now has played 35 postseason games, included three doubles, two triples and two home runs. His mound opponent will be Jarrod Washburn, a veteran left-hander who will be seeking to complete a swift trip from the dismal to the sublime of postseason play.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.