Baseball: Angels, Yankees head back to the Bronx
ANAHEIM, Calif. ó Chone Figgins and the Los Angeles Angels know they’re heading straight into more than one kind of storm, and they can’t wait to get wet.
Heavy showers in today’s New York forecast are threatening to wash out Game 6 of the AL championship series, yet that’s a minor drizzle compared to the high-pressure system the Angels created for both themselves and the Yankees by extending the ALCS through the weekend.
Rejuvenated by a ramshackle win in Game 5 that cut the Yankees’ series lead to 3-2, the Angels still face long odds to make the seldom-seen comeback from a 3-1 series deficit against their star-studded opponents. Yet Figgins still senses a team-wide confidence that the Angels can rain on the Yankees’ 27th championship parade.
“It doesn’t get any better than this, especially going into that ballpark,” said Figgins, the Angels’ leadoff hitter. “It’s going to be another crazy game, I can tell you that. You go back and just enjoy it. The pressure is on both teams.”
The Angels were grateful to show up to work Friday in suits instead of sweats, holding a brief workout before flying out to Game 6 on Saturday night.
Figgins and his teammates all packed the cold-weather gear that did little good in their last trip to Yankee Stadium, when they lost the series’ first two games with poor hitting and sloppy defense. The Angels’ defense and pitching mostly got back to normal in Anaheim, but their hitting didn’t improve until Game 5, when they scored seven runs after mustering just 10 in the entire series beforehand.
“They are the favorites, but after this one, we’ve got obviously a lot of confidence, a lot of momentum,” said Joe Saunders, the Angels’ Game 6 starter. “It’s going to be the usual Yankee hostile environment. It’s going to be a lot of fun. They’re going to be all over us.”
So will the rain, if the forecast is accurate.