The Washington Times - October 19, 2009, 03:31PM

Good afternoon from Anaheim. My Southern California postseason run continues today from the land of Mickey Mouse, with the Angels hosting the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS. First pitch is at 4:13 p.m. Eastern, 1:13 p.m. here.

Plain and simple, this is a must-win game for the Angels. I know they technically could come back from a 3-0 series deficit — just as any member of Red Sox Nation if that’s possible — but that’s not at all a scenario they want to face. Momentum is entirely on the Yankees’ side after Saturday night’s/Sunday morning’s dramatic 13-inning win in the Bronx.


So the pressure is on right-hander Jered Weaver to turn in a big-time performance against New York’s vaunted lineup. Weaver had one of the quieter 16-8, 3.75 ERA seasons you’ll ever see. Seriously, how often is he talked about as one of the better pitchers in the league? Weaver was particularly tough at home, going 9-3 with a 2.90 ERA here.

Of course, Weaver could throw a gem (just as Joe Saunders did in Game 2) and still not come out on top if the Angels can’t get some hits with runners in scoring position. They stranded 16 men on base in that last game, went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position. They flat-out need to start coming through in the clutch, a tough proposition today against veteran Andy Pettitte.

I will say that if the Angels are nervous or thrown off their games at all, I see no evidence of it. These guys are surprisingly calm, given the task they face. Perhaps that will help them turn things around today.

“I don’t think there’s any unusual sense of urgency that would lead to guys going out there trying to do too much,” manager Mike Scioscia said this morning. “But sure, you know what you’re up against when you’re down two games and what you need to accomplish. Now you need to focus on the steps to get there, and that’s what our guys are going to do.”

Here, then, are today’s lineups. Enjoy the game! …


SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

DH Hideki Matsui

C Jorge Posada

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

CF Melky Cabrera

(P Andy Pettitte)


3B Chone Figgins

RF Bobby Abreu

CF Torii Hunter

DH Vladimir Guerrero

LF Juan Rivera

1B Kendry Morales

2B Howie Kendrick

C Mike Napoli

SS Erick Aybar

(P Jered Weaver)