NEW YORK -- Even Chone Figgins couldn't have splashed his way through this.
The white tarpaulin over the Yankee Stadium infield billowed in the wind Saturday and a steady rain fell. More than 3½ hours before it was scheduled to start, Game 4 of the AL playoff series between the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees was postponed.
Major League Baseball and the Fox network reset the game for Sunday night. If the Yankees win and force Game 5, that one would be Monday afternoon or evening in Anaheim, Calif., a quick turnaround for teams fighting to gain a berth against the Chicago White Sox in the AL Championship Series.
"It's out of our control," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We'll play at midnight if they tell us to play at midnight. We'll be ready."
A New York victory would tie the best-of-5 series 2-2, forcing the teams to fly across the country in the middle of the night. Players would not get to sleep until 5 a.m. PDT or so, about 12-14 hours before they would have to play a fifth game. A day game Sunday would have eased the travel, but television networks prefer to have games between large-market teams in prime time.
"Is it unfair? In a sense, yes," Yankees bench coach Joe Girardi said. "But I think we all know why we're doing it that way, and that's part of what makes this game tick. It's what keeps salaries up."
Baseball officials spoke with Fox and Game 4, at first rescheduled for 8:15 p.m., was moved up to 7:55 p.m. Commissioner Bud Selig declined comment.
"I've got my hands full here," he said before any questions could be asked.
Los Angeles took a 2-1 series lead with an 11-7 victory in the rain Friday night, beating up on Randy Johnson and getting another great defensive play from Figgins, whose diving catch of Gary Sheffield's liner to center saved one or two runs and blunted New York's comeback from a 5-0 deficit. After the Yankees went ahead 6-5, Anaheim rallied for two runs in the next inning, with Figgins hitting a go-ahead single.
Scioscia decided to stick with Jarrod Washburn as his Game 4 starter and leave 21-game winner Bartolo Colon for Game 5 if it's needed. Colon planned to return to California later Saturday to get rest.
"Our confidence in Jarrod is high," Scioscia said. "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 left Mike Borzello with him, who is our bullpen catcher," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "They have been doing regular workouts. Mike is very responsible, I think you all know that. So I'm not really concerned about the fact that he'll be ready to pitch."
"This day off is big for us," Scioscia said. "We have to be able to shorten a game against the Yankees, and the only way to do that is to have Scot Shields and Donnelly, and Kelvim Escobar and Rodriguez where they need to be."
Johnson, chased after 62 pitches and booed lustily by the Yankee Stadium fans, could wind up in the bullpen for a Game 5, and perhaps even for Game 4. His 1 1/3 innings for Arizona in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series helped end the Yankees' string of three straight World Series titles.
The 42-year-old left-hander was dressed in a suit instead of sweats and jeans Saturday, ready for the Yankees' coat-and-tie dress code in case another trip to the West Coast was necessary.
"I think I could pitch today if I had to," he said. "It's part of my job to help this team win, isn't it? If the opportunity comes along, they say: 'Can you pitch?' then I'm going to say, 'Yeah.' I mean, I've never turned the ball down."
After being given a $48 million, three-year deal by the Yankees to win big games and getting blown out Friday, he was asked whether he would embrace the chance to pitch in relief.
"I don't know if I embrace anything," he said. "It's my job. I go out and do it."
An additional day should help Los Angeles catcher Bengie Molina, forced from Friday's game when he was hit on the left elbow by Tom Gordon's pitch. The elbow was wrapped Saturday, and he thought he could have played.
"It's all right. It's not broken," he said. "It's stiff. It's swollen. It hurts. All of the above."
Molina homered in each of the first three games of the series. He hit 15 during the regular season.
- Tickets marked "Home Game 2" are good for Sunday.
- The ALCS is scheduled to open Tuesday night in Chicago.