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Angels short hops

Angels short hops

NEW YORK -- The Angels got almost everything they could ask for Sunday night in Game 4 of the American League Division Series -- except a win.

Fill-in John Lackey, who didn't even know he was pitching in place of ill scheduled starter Jarrod Washburn until seven hours before the first pitch, was beyond brilliant on three days' rest, giving up one run on two hits in 5 2/3 innings.

The Angels' usually dominant bullpen hit a snag in the seventh inning, when the Yankees scraped together two runs, giving them a 3-2 win and forcing a Game 5 that will be played in Anaheim on Monday.

The Angels still seem to have a slight advantage for the deciding game, with their ace, Bartolo Colon, ready to go after five days' rest and a sold-out home crowd waiting for them.

If they lose Game 5, however, there's no doubt they'll be thinking about the Game 4 that got away.

Behind the numbers
Garret Anderson went 0-for-3 a game after going 4-for-5 with five RBIs and Darin Erstad followed his three-hit Game 3 with an 0-for-3 night. Vladimir Guerrero legged out an infield single but still doesn't have an RBI in the series.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 4 of the ALDS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 4.11 Still solid, but bullpen meltdown hurts
BA .274 (37-for-135) Chacon, bullpen were enough to silence bats
BA w/RISP (Game 4) .500 (2-for-4) Still making most of opportunities
Runs (Game 4) 2 A quiet night after the Friday explosion
Errors (Game 4) 0 Chone Figgins' pivotal rushed throw not an error

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
John Lackey 0-0, 2.38 ERA, 11 strikeouts Answered the bell on three days' rest

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Steve Finley .111, 0 HR, 0 RBI Wonder if he'll start against Mussina

Frozen moment
In the seventh inning, with the score tied at 2, third baseman Figgins fielded Derek Jeter's bouncer and rushed a throw home trying to nail Jorge Posada. Catcher Bengie Molina made a dazzling catch of the ball, which was headed wide of the plate, but he was too late to make the tag on the eventual winning run.

Second guess
Manager Mike Scioscia's decision to leave reliever Scot Shields in the game in the seventh after giving up a leadoff single to Robinson Cano and walking Posada with one out was more questionable than pulling Lackey. After the Posada walk, the Yankees turned to pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra, who singled in the tying run.

Modern history
The Angels couldn't score in the eighth or ninth against Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and snapped New York's two-game losing streak when Rivera pitches two innings.

Last word
"You've gotta enjoy pitching in October. That's what the 162 games are for."
-- Lackey

Doug Miller 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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