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Notes: Big Unit to come out of bullpen?

Notes: Big Unit to come out of bullpen?

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NEW YORK -- Randy Johnson's abbreviated outing in Game 3 of the American League Division Series didn't do much to aid the Yankees' championship hopes, but the Big Unit could get another shot to help his team against the Angels.

Johnson, who threw just 62 pitches over three-plus innings on Friday, could be available to work out of the bullpen over the final two games of the series, though Game 5 would be much more likely than Game 4.

"I think I could pitch today if I had to; anything is possible," Johnson said Saturday. "I've done it before. Everything else goes out the door, because this is what we've been playing for. We're at the crossroads now where we need to win a couple more games. If there's anything I can do to help, obviously I will."

"We'll have to wait and see, but I would say he probably would be," said pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre when asked if Johnson would be available for a Game 5. "I think he would be an option out of the 'pen."

Johnson plans on watching tape from his Game 3 start with catcher John Flaherty, but the left-hander said he won't overanalyze the poor outing.

"It's done and over with," he said. "There's nothing I can do about it. If I keep dwelling on that, it's not going to be a positive thing."

Can Johnson be ready to pitch out of the bullpen in Game 4? Although he didn't say yes, he also wouldn't discount the possibility.

"Anything's possible," Johnson said. "We have to take it one game at a time."

"Whenever Randy feels physically able to do it, he'll jump in there," said manager Joe Torre. "He's done this before where he has volunteered for bullpen work. But when you're up against it, like we are right now, we certainly look for a show of hands and we'll take whatever help we can get."

Stottlemyre did say that Chien-Ming Wang, who started Game 2, would likely be available out of the bullpen on Sunday.

For Johnson, a postseason bullpen outing wouldn't be anything new. After all, he was the pitcher that came out of the 'pen -- on no days' rest -- to help the Diamondbacks defeat the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.

"It's part of my job to help this team win" Johnson said. "If the opportunity comes along and they say, 'Can you pitch?' I'll say yes. I've never turned the ball down.

"I'm here, and if they need me, I'll do the best I can -- just like I do every time."

Sympathy pains: When Jason Giambi heard the sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium shower boos on the Big Unit as he walked off the mound in Game 3, he knew exactly what Johnson was feeling.

It was just three years ago that Giambi was the new kid on the block, and he heard plenty of boos in the Bronx as he started slowly during the season's first six weeks.

"When you're the big boy coming to town, that's tough," Giambi said. "I've been there, I know what it's like."

But Giambi believes that the Yankees' fans should remember what Johnson provided to the team during the regular season as well, as his 17 wins were an integral part of New York's eighth consecutive division title.

"They need to not forget that he was [6-0] down the stretch when we needed him to be big," Giambi said. "Sometimes they can forget real fast around here what got us here. If he hadn't done what he did, we wouldn't have ever been in a situation to be in the playoffs."

Waiting game: Mike Mussina remains in Southern California, waiting to see whether the series will return to Anaheim for Game 5, which would now be played on Monday.

Mussina has been keeping his arm in shape, throwing to Mike Borzello, the Yankees' bullpen catcher.

"They have been doing regular workouts," Torre said. "Mike is very responsible, so I'm not really concerned about the fact that he'll be ready to pitch."

Stottlemyre said that he has no regrets about keeping Mussina in Anaheim, even though he could have pitched Sunday's delayed Game 4 on regular rest had he been with the team.

"If there's a Game 5, he's the guy I want to be on the mound," Stottlemyre said. "We just have to get there. I don't have any regrets at all. I think it was the smart thing to do."

Lining 'em up Torre wouldn't say what his lineup for Game 4 would have been, and he'll wait until Sunday to decide who to use as his designated hitter.

"We have some options that we can use for tomorrow," Torre said. "Ruben [Sierra] is one, [Bubba] Crosby is another. We'll have to look at it."

Sierra is just 4-for-21 (.190) with no homers against Washburn, while Crosby has never faced the left-hander. If Crosby gets the start, it would be in center field, with Bernie Williams serving as the DH.

Another option is Tino Martinez, who is 6-for-12 with two homers against Washburn. Should Martinez start, Jason Giambi would likely DH, with Martinez playing first base.

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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