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Rainout gives Yanks needed break

Rainout gives Yanks much-needed break

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NEW YORK -- There are two schools of thought when it comes to Saturday's rainout of Game 4 of the American League Division Series.

The first is that the Yankees, who lost a tough Game 3 on Friday night, would have loved to get back on the field as soon as possible to wash the bad taste out of their mouths.

The other is that the one-day delay gives the bullpen a chance to rest after a game in which Randy Johnson wasn't able to get out of the fourth inning.

Either way, the Yankees and Angels will wait until Sunday to play Game 4, with New York trying to force the best-of-five series back to Anaheim on Monday.

"There's nothing we can do about it," said Tom Gordon. "We'd love to be out there, but now we just have to prepare for [Sunday] night. All of us will be ready. We'll do whatever we can to win a ballgame tomorrow -- if the weather permits."

Sunday's Game 4 is scheduled to begin at 8:15 p.m. ET (with a broadcast time of 7:55 p.m.), while Game 5 -- if necessary -- would likely take place at approximately the same time on Monday night in Anaheim.

"We'd like to play, but we can't. I don't think it benefits one team over the other," said Derek Jeter. "You get to this point in the season, you're playing on adrenaline anyway. I don't think fatigue or tiredness come into play."

That travel schedule won't be easy on anybody, but if the Yankees are forced to make that late-night, cross-country flight on Sunday, that's just fine with them.

"Hopefully we can make it hard on ourselves by winning these games so we have a chance to go forward," said general manager Brian Cashman.

"That will be tough on both teams," said pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre. "It's a tough travel situation, but it isn't a case where only we'll be tired. They'll be tired, too. It will be survival of the fittest."

Saturday's game never had a chance, as rain pelted Yankee Stadium throughout the entire day. Weather reports showed no signs of it lightening, causing the postponement. Several Yankees players never even made it to the Bronx, as they were called and told that the game had been called off.

"It's a good decision," Cashman said. "I've seen the weather, it's rained since yesterday, so the sooner you call it, the sooner you can take advantage of getting some much-needed rest. I don't think it's fair to the fans to keep them around."

"It can't really hurt," said Jason Giambi. "You don't want to lose a baseball game because of the weather, on a mistake that wouldn't have been made on a dry field."

Shawn Chacon, who was scheduled to start on Saturday, will take the mound on Sunday against Jarrod Washburn, as both Joe Torre and Mike Scioscia chose to stick with their original Game 4 hurlers.

"Any time he's had an extra day, he's pitched extremely well. I don't think it will hurt him," said Stottlemyre. "Chacon has come up big several times before. We're asking him to do the same thing tomorrow."

"He's the first one that expressed unhappiness about today's game being rained out," said Torre. "He was in [the clubhouse], sort of getting into his head, the situation of pitching the game."

Should Game 5 be necessary, Mike Mussina will take on Bartolo Colon. Mussina has been in Anaheim all week, while Colon was scheduled to return to California on Saturday night.

"We're going to need a big game from Shawn and a big game from Moose," Cashman said. "That's the bottom line."

If the series goes the distance, the winner would travel directly to Chicago for Game 1 of the ALCS against a fresh White Sox team on Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field.

"Let's hope we have to worry about that. If we push this to a Game 5, then the winner of that game has some extra stuff to deal with. But that's for another day."

Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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