NEW YORK -- With starters Paul Byrd and Randy Johnson allowing four and five runs, respectively, Game 3 came down to which bullpen would better lock down the opposing lineup.The Angels' Brendan Donnelly couldn't escape the fourth without damage, allowing two runs, but the three Halos relievers to follow -- Scot Shields, Kelvim Escobar and Francisco Rodriguez -- each turned in a scoreless performance. Subtract Donnelly's two runs in one-third of an inning and the Angels 'pen has turned in 10 innings of one-run ball thus far. The Yankees couldn't find similar success, trotting out five relievers, three of whom were scored upon. Aaron Small, Tom Gordon and Al Leiter each allowed two runs, while Scott Proctor and Tanyon Sturtze emerged unscathed.
Behind the numbers
The Angels bullpen has a reputation for being stingy, and has allowed only three runs in 10 2/3 innings pitched through three games.
A look at key statistics through Game 3 of the ALDS.
|ERA||4.33||Three relievers combined for five scoreless innings Friday.|
|BA||.308||Lineup switch ignited the offense.|
|Runs||11 in Game 3||Outslugged the Yankees once, can they do it again?|
|BA w/RISP||.388||Put lots of runners in place, then kept bringing them home.|
|Bengie Molina||.455, 3 Hrs, 5 RBIs||Responded to lineup switch with vigor.|
|Steve Finley||.143, 1 RBI||Entered late, couldn't break out|
With one run already in during the top of the seventh, Finley dropped a suicide squeeze to extend the Angels' lead to three runs. The play exemplified the Angels' small-ball approach.
Mike Scioscia tabbed Molina for his cleanup hitter Friday. Molina responded by going 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and scoring twice.
Garret Anderson and Chone Figgins entered Friday's game a combined 4-for-43 in the Angels' last two Division Series (2004 and 2005). Then they exploded to go 6-for-11 with two runs scored and six RBIs in Game 3.
"I just think he's finally getting the opportunity to showcase what he can do and he's taking advantage of the situation."
-- Anderson on Molina
Ben Couch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.