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Washburn dodges the rain

Rain forces postponement of Game 4

NEW YORK -- Rain washed out Saturday's fourth game of the American League Division Series between the Angels and Yankees, but that did not keep the starting pitchers from their appointed rounds.

Angels left-hander Jarrod Washburn and Yankees right-hander Shawn Chacon remain the scheduled starters for Game 4, which will be played Sunday at 5:15 p.m. PT, weather permitting (the FOX broadcast begins at 4:30). If there is a Game 5, now scheduled for Monday in Anaheim, right-hander Bartolo Colon will start for the Angels against Yankees right-hander Mike Mussina, a rematch of Game 1.

Rain is also in the forecast for Sunday and Monday in New York.

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"We're going to stay with Jarrod Washburn in Game 4 and have Bartolo if Game 5 is necessary for a couple of reasons," manager Mike Scioscia said Saturday. "Bart can use an extra day; it's been a long season for a lot of guys. We're going to have Bart and back him up with John Lackey if we need him in Game 5. We'll have enough depth in what we have, but we're very confident with Jarrod."

The Angels on Saturday sent Colon back to California, where Mussina has been since the team arrived in Anaheim last Monday. The winning pitcher in Game 1, Mussina stayed behind in the event of a fifth game.

Colon suffered a lower back strain on Aug. 30 in a game against the A's. The right-hander did not miss a start, but he was limited to five innings each in three of his last four starts of the regular season.

In Game 1, Colon took the loss when he allowed four runs in the first two innings in a start that lasted seven innings. Colon has said he is no longer suffering pain in his back, but it's tight on occasion and he'll have to be cognizant of it through the postseason.

"It has been a long year for Bart," Scioscia said. "The extra day is going to be beneficial to him. Even though he would be on normal rest Sunday, the extra day will help."

The day off will also help a bullpen that logged 5 1/3 innings Friday night and a couple of players with minor injuries, including Bengie Molina, who suffered a bruised left elbow when he was hit by a pitch from Tom Gordon in the seventh inning Friday.

Molina said it was sore Saturday, but would have played.

"I was hoping we would play the game," the catcher said. "I never wanted a rain delay."

Most of the players did not report to the ballpark Saturday when their bus turned around after hearing of the postponement. Those who did show took the delay in stride.

"The toughest part is not knowing, just not knowing when the game will be played," Darin Erstad said. "But it is part of the game. There are things that you can't control."

For those who wanted to take some swings, the cages were open, but hitting coach Mickey Hatcher didn't set a schedule. He echoed Molina's sentiments that it would have been nice to get the game in, but felt the layoff wouldn't steal any momentum from an Angels team that has won two straight games and can clinch the best-of-five series with a win in Game 4.

"The guys like to keep playing and I think the same goes for the Yankees," Hatcher said. "But I've got great confidence in my guys. They are great mudders and nothing bothers them."

Washburn was 8-8 with a 3.20 ERA in 29 starts during the regular season. He held the Yankees to a run on nine hits and two walks over 7 2/3 innings to pick up the win at Yankee Stadium on April 27. The left-hander has also been a better pitcher on the road throughout his career, posting a 47-26 mark away from Angel Stadium but just 28-33 at home.

Tendinitis in his left forearm bothered him throughout the entire second half and he was shut down in the middle of September, but over his last two starts Washburn has felt fine.

"I feel good right now," said Washburn, who is 1-3 in seven postseason appearances, six of them starts. "I think those two weeks off is just what I needed and I feel much better."

Chacon went 1-7 with a 4.09 ERA in 13 appearances, 12 of which were starts, during the first half of the season with Colorado. But a July 28 trade brought him to the Yankees, with whom he was 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 14 appearances, making 12 starts.

Sunday will be his first start in the postseason.

"He's the first one that expressed unhappiness about today's game being rained out," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He was in there, sort of getting into his head the situation of pitching the game. But he'll be there for us."

Mike Scarr 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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