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10/10/05 2:01 AM ET
Starters await Yanks, Halos in Anaheim
Mussina, Colon set for series-deciding Game 5
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Mike Mussina, who never left Anaheim, and Bartolo Colon, who returned there Saturday, are about to get company. Their teams will catch up with them Monday evening, for the decisive Game 5 of the AL Division Series. The two veteran right-handers should be well-rested for the re-creation of their Game 1 duel, at 8 p.m. ET. As for their teammates ... well, the Yankees and Angels are in the spin cycle. The teams hurried their way West following New York's 3-2 victory in Game 4 Sunday night, an intense affair that clearly left some of the participants dizzy. Consider the message Alex Rodriguez delivered to Mussina through the TV cameras soon after the conclusion of Game 4: "I hope he's getting some rest. If you're watching ... I hope you're sleeping, Mike." If A-Rod thought Mussina might have been watching him in his sleep, well, that would have made Moose like Yankees fans, who hit their pillows in the wee hours dreaming of glory deeper into October. This will be a mere stopover for one of the teams. The winner of the first ALDS Game 5 since 2003 will continue on to Chicago, to engage the White Sox in the AL Championship Series. Despite having to play the decisive game on foreign territory, the Yankees may have maneuvered themselves into the advantage. Thanks to Shawn Chacon's 6 1/3 innings of tenacity Sunday, New York manager Joe Torre needed only veteran lefty Al Leiter to get to closer Mariano Rivera. The Yankees' key setup men -- Tanyon Sturtze and Tom Gordon -- remained out of sight and will be fresher Monday behind Mussina. Mussina was extremely effective in his Game 1 start, when he blanked the Angels on five hits for 5 2/3 innings, but since mid-August has had trouble putting good starts back-to-back. Colon, on the other hand, has battled a sore back for weeks. His condition was the main reason Angels manager Mike Scioscia didn't consider him for Sunday's start -- even after Saturday's rainout would have permitted Colon to do so on his normal four days' rest.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.