Shawn Chacon gave the Yankees a quality start, allowing the offense to fight back with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh, as New York overcame a 2-0 deficit to emerge victorious.
Yankees catcher John Flaherty has been providing game-by-game analysis for MLB.com throughout the postseason. Flaherty spoke with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand following the win, discussing Chacon's performance, the importance of scoring against the Angels bullpen and what to expect as the series heads back to the West Coast.
MLB.com: Chacon made his first postseason start. How much of a lift did he give you?
Flaherty: He was huge. He did just what he's done since we first acquired him; given us big games and big starts. There was none bigger than tonight. He was wonderful.
MLB.com: John Lackey was pitching on short rest; were you surprised he was as sharp as he was?
Flaherty: Not really. We've always respected the stuff that he has, and coming back on three days' rest in postseason isn't unheard of. A lot of guys are playing on adrenaline at this point, so it wasn't surprising. We certainly hoped he wouldn't be as sharp, but he was.
MLB.com: We've talked about the Angels bullpen all series. The way it has been pitching, did a 2-0 deficit feel larger than that?
Flaherty: I think so, especially after they were able to rest yesterday. Escobar has been really tough on us. Shields may be a little worn down by now, but they have great arms, so you have to earn everything that you get. Whether it's a walk, moving a guy over, whatever, you have to try to find a way to manufacture some runs. We were lucky to get two big hits from Sheff and Ruben.
MLB.com: How important was it to answer their two runs right away with one of your own?
Flaherty: It was huge, because we know we have Mariano coming in. We wanted to scratch and claw, try to get some runs to either tie it or take a lead. We were lucky to do it off that bullpen, so now we get to go to Anaheim, where anything can happen.
MLB.com: Is there any better feeling than seeing Rivera come in from the bullpen?
Flaherty: No. The only thing that comes close was watching him get Figgins out to lead off the ninth. He's the type of hitter that can give Mariano a tough time, and if he gets on the bases, he can cause trouble. It was a big strikeout to lead off that inning.
MLB.com: Mike Mussina has been sitting out in California since Game 2. What do you expect from him in Game 5?
Flaherty: We always feel good about Moose when he goes to the mound, especially after what he did in Game 1 for us. I talked to Borzy [bullpen catcher Mike Borzello], who's out in California with him, and he said Moose feels great, he's been throwing, and he's excited about it.
MLB.com: Cross-country flights on the night before a game aren't ideal, but is this one you guys don't mind taking?
Flaherty: Nobody is complaining about it, that's for sure. We were concentrating on today so we could go out there. You play on adrenaline this time of year anyway, so even though it's a long flight, we'll be ready to go tomorrow night.
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less