Postponement doesn't faze Yankees

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter (2) fields the

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter (2) fields the ball in front of Robinson Cano, coach Mick Kelleher, and Nick Swisher during practice Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Yankees lead the Los Angeles Angels 3 games to 2 in the best of 7 ALCS. The winner of the ALCS will face the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series beginning Wednesday. (Photo by John Dunn) (Credit: John Dunn/John Dunn)

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The life of the baseball player mostly is one of routine, the day-to-day grind of the regular season. But for the Yankees, it has been anything but day-to-day this postseason.

If it seems as if they've had as many off-days as game days, it's because they have: The Yankees have played eight games in 18 days.

So in that respect, players greeted the postponement of last night's Game 6 of the American League Championship Series with a shrug.

"We've had so many days off this entire postseason," Mark Teixeira said. "A short series the first series , waiting around, then travel days. You just kinda get used to it."

Said Nick Swisher, "We were all ready to go, then got the call we weren't going to play. These things happen."

Game 6, scheduled to start at 7:57 last night, now has a first-pitch time of 8:20 tonight.

Manager Joe Girardi said he had no thoughts about having ace CC Sabathia, the winner of Games 1 and 4 in this series, pitch Sunday night on what would have been his regular four days' rest. Andy Pettitte will start as scheduled, with Sabathia ready if a Game 7, scheduled for 7:57 p.m. tomorrow, is necessary.

Of course, if that seventh game becomes necessary, Angels ace John Lackey, on three days' rest, now figures to be ready, too, thanks to the postponement.

"We like the guy going tomorrow," Girardi said. "CC has been great. But Andy will pitch tomorrow."

Which Pettitte, 15-9 with a 3.90 ERA in his career in the postseason, assumed all along.

"I never thought they would skip me," Pettitte said. "Just from the standpoint . . . I would hope they have a lot of confidence in me and hope that they think I can get this game and we can win this game with me on the mound. And then if CC doesn't have to throw [in Game 6], you know, who else would you want for a Game 7 if there is a Game 7?"

Pettitte would have been pitching on regular rest if he had gone last night, but he is used to the disruption in his schedule. He missed his Sept. 16 start because of shoulder fatigue and didn't pitch on four days' rest the remainder of the season.

"The first thing in my mind was, 'OK, wow, I haven't pitched on my fifth day probably in about six weeks,' " Pettitte said. "For me, the last six weeks since they rested my shoulder that one start, I just feel like I've had an awful lot of rest. Obviously, I'm getting older and it's probably great for me. But when I was younger, that would really set me back, I felt like."

So wired was Pettitte that after the game was called and he met with the media, he could be seen playing catch in the worsening downpour in the outfield and then running short sprints on the waterlogged track.

But irregular schedule aside, Pettitte has pitched well this postseason - Oct. 11 in Minnesota on seven days' rest, then Oct. 19 in Game 3 of this series.

And if Sabathia has to pitch on his sixth day Monday night, Girardi isn't concerned.

"He's been good on an extra day, too," Girardi said. "I don't really worry about him going on an extra day."

The real impact of last night's rainout could be on the Angels. If they win tonight, they almost certainly will throw Lackey on short rest in Game 7, though no one was saying for certain.

Not that the Yankees cared.

"We're concerned with Game 6 and trying to win that game," Jerry Hairston Jr. said.

"Our focus is completely on Game 6," Girardi said.

Which, the Yankees hope, will be the final one in this series. It's the same hope they had when they arrived at the Stadium yesterday.

"I know a lot of guys were really excited to play today, but the big man upstairs didn't think it was the right time for us to play," Swisher said. "So we'll get back after it tomorrow. No big deal."

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