Chone Figgins draws ALCS inspiration from Manny Ramirez
In an effort to bring a little perspective to the Angels' 3-1 American League Championship Series deficit to the New York Yankees, Angels third baseman Chone Figgins invoked the name of ... Manny Ramirez?
Yep. It was Ramirez who, when the Boston Red Sox trailed the Cleveland Indians by three games to one in the 2007 ALCS, said, "It's not the end of the world," though the legions of Red Sox Nation probably thought otherwise at the time.
But Ramirez's carefree attitude seemed to loosen up the Red Sox, who went on to win the next three games over the Indians en route to their second World Series championship in four years.
"Like Manny said, this isn't the end of the world," Figgins said before today's off-day workout in preparation for Game 5 in Angel Stadium on Thursday night. "It's not over. That was a great quote. Manny had the right mentality."
For the Angels to get the series back to New York for a Game 6 they need to get their offense going; they're hitting .201 (30 for 149) in the first four games, and there are soft spots throughout the order, including Figgins (.125), Bobby Abreu (.125), Kendry Morales (.125), Juan Rivera (.118), Mike Napoli (.111) and Torii Hunter (.235).
The Yankees have outscored the Angels, 22-10, in the series, which is beginning to look a lot like the 2005 ALCS, when Chicago White Sox pitchers shut down the Angels, who hit .175 and scored 11 runs in a five-game series loss.
"There are some similarities," Figgins acknowledged. "When we do get a hit, it's a battled single. We're not getting a lot of extra-base hits. When you see that, it's a sign they're not throwing the ball over the heart of the plate."
Figgins got a sense for how stingy Yankees pitchers can be when, with the Yankees leading, 7-1, in the eighth inning of Game 4 Tuesday night, left-hander CC Sabathia "threw me a first-pitch curve," Figgins said. "He wasn't going to let us get any momentum. Their pitchers are keeping the big innings from happening."
-- Mike DiGiovanna