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Notes: All hands on deck
10/07/2004 9:31 PM ET
BOSTON -- Mike Scioscia has penciled in John Lackey as the Angels' starter in Game 4 of the American League Division Series. But the manager will change his plans without hesitation if he needs Lackey's help to get to Game 4.

The Angels arrived in Boston on Thursday needing to win games both on Friday and Saturday at Fenway Park in order to force a Game 5 of the best-of-five ALDS on Sunday back in Anaheim. So, Scioscia has taken the stance that any manager in his position would take: Whatever it takes to win, do it.

"I could sit here and tell you we are going to go with Lackey, but Lackey might have to help us win [Friday's] game. So as of right now what we are looking at, we are going to get through [Friday]," Scioscia said at Fenway Park after the Angels arrived from California. "Obviously, there is no need to save anybody. We are in a situation where we know what we need to do [Friday] and we move on from there. So ... we are not going to hold anything back."

Lackey has not had much success against the Red Sox this season, losing both of his starts and allowing 11 runs (nine earned) over 9 1/3 innings for an 8.68 ERA.

If Lackey does pitch in Game 3 and the Angels win it, they could come back with Game 1 starter Jarrod Washburn on three days' rest to work on Saturday. But that's what teams do when they are facing playoff elimination.

"It's definitely a challenge, there is no doubt about it, but it's one that is realistic," Scioscia said of the 0-2 deficit. "The only way to slay this dragon now is really to go one pitch at a time, one inning at a time. ...

"It's the first time we are in a must-win situation. Our guys think they know the course of action to take. You can do that one pitch, one inning at a time and get into our game. We are going to have -- we are going to have the opportunity to bring our game to the field. We are not looking past [Game 3], obviously, but when you are down 0-2 and you have got to win three in a row against a club like this, it is a real challenge. We feel ready for it."

First-timers at Fenway: Angels right-hander Kelvim Escobar won't be the only hurler making his first postseason start Friday in Boston. Red Sox right-hander Bronson Arroyo will be getting his first starting playoff assignment there, as well. However, Arroyo, unlike his counterpart, has pitched in the postseason previously. Last year, he appeared in three games against the Yankees in the AL Championship Series, with no record and a 2.70 ERA in 3 1/3 innings. Arroyo surrendered nine earned runs over 8 1/3 innings in two starts against Anaheim this season.

Angels rookie infielder Dallas McPherson will be getting quite the initiation to one of baseball's most hallowed grounds. Friday will be McPherson's first game at Fenway Park.

"It's going to be loud and it's going to be unbelievable," said McPherson. "The fans in Boston are incomparable. They're great. They're passionate and they have a great team. They're going to be excited. Nothing can really prepare us for that, but they had to come to our place and deal with our fans and now we have to deal with their place."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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