NEW YORK — Game 6 of the AL Championship Series between the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees was postponed because of rain Saturday.
The game was rescheduled for 5:20 p.m. (Pacific time) today at Yankee Stadium.
New York leads the best-of-seven series 3-2 and needs one victory to clinch its 40th pennant and reach the World Series for the first time since 2003. Game 7, if necessary, will be Monday in New York at 4:57 p.m. (Pacific).
“The one thing is, you don’t want to stop and start, and we don’t know when the rain is going to get out of here,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I respect the decision that they made. I’m sure both clubs would have liked to have played, but the weather’s not permitting it.”
If the Angels can push the series to a seventh game, the rainout could benefit them. No. 1 starter John Lackey, who took a shutout into the seventh inning in Game 5, could be available to pitch on three days’ rest.
“We have some more options and obviously we’ll know better after tomorrow,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think it benefits both teams certainly in resetting the bullpens.”
Rain had been falling off and on in New York since Friday night. A steady drizzle, with occasional spurts of heavy downpour, kept the tarp on the field all afternoon. The game was called by Major League Baseball nearly 2 hours before the scheduled first pitch.
Joe Saunders had been slated to start for Los Angeles against fellow left-hander Andy Pettitte, looking to set a pair of major league records. Pettitte owns four series-clinching wins among his 15 career postseason victories — both tied for the most in baseball history.
Girardi said the Yankees will stay with Pettitte tonight rather than switch to ace CC Sabathia, who would be on regular rest.
Sabathia, who is 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA in three playoff outings this year, would start Game 7 if needed. He pitched eight strong innings on three days’ rest in a 10-1 victory in Game 4 on Tuesday.
“Andy has pitched in a ton of big games in his career. We just like him in this spot,” Girardi said. “We’re going to stick with Andy and give CC and extra day. … The extra day we think could physically help him.”
Even after the announcement, several Angels players played catch in the outfield to get loose. Los Angeles staved off elimination in Game 5 at home, rallying for a 7-6 victory Thursday night.