By Ronald Blum
The Associated Press
BOSTON - Fenway Park was soaked from rain by game time Friday night, making it no surprise that Game 3 of the AL championship series would not be played as scheduled. Then the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox had to deal with the fallout.
With the rainout, the schedule was pushed back a day, but both teams said they would stay with their scheduled starters for Games 3 and 4. Boston, which trails 2-0 in the best-of-seven series, was leaning toward not bringing back Pedro Martinez for Game 5 Monday, but said that decision wasn't final.
Saturday night's forecast is better, with the National Weather Service calling for mostly cloudy skies with a 50 percent chance of showers and 10-15 mph winds. The temperature was expected to dip into the 40s.
The biggest news was that Red Sox ace Curt Schilling, whose ailing right ankle will prevent him from starting a Game 5, pitched a 15-minute bullpen session with a high-top sneaker and felt better.
Schilling, who didn't appear to be throwing at full strength, twice stopped to tweak his shoe while about nine Red Sox officials, doctors and trainers kept a close eye on him. Boston hasn't ruled out his availability for a sixth or seventh game.
"This gave us reason to be optimistic," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "The door hasn't been closed."
New York will start Kevin Brown on Saturday against Bronson Arroyo, followed by Orlando Hernandez on Sunday against Tim Wakefield. Mike Mussina, who defeated Schilling in the opener, will have an extra day of rest, his fifth, before pitching in Game 5, and Derek Lowe is scheduled to start for Boston.
"We kind of reserve the right to change that," Francona said.
Francona could bring back a fully rested Martinez for Game 5 and avoid having him start again at Yankee Stadium, where fans taunted him with chants of "Who's Your Daddy?" during his 3-1 loss in Game 2.
"We are trying to win the series. That will be how we base our decision solely - not to extend the series, to get to a certain game," Francona said. "It's based on trying to win four games."
After the postponement was announced 14 minutes before the scheduled 8:19 p.m. start, the Yankees were led by police as they walked from their clubhouse to buses, through a tunnel of fans chanting and taunting them.
Having won five games in a row, the Yankees want to get back on the field.
"I don't think it bothers us at all," manager Joe Torre said. "You're definitely anxious, but the last game you played, you won, so that helps."
Both Brown and Hernandez will be pitching with questions about their health. Brown's back has bothered him for much of the season, then the right-hander broke his non-pitching hand Sept. 3 when he punched a clubhouse wall in frustration.
Brown got just two outs in an 11-4 loss at Fenway Park on Sept. 26. When he beat Minnesota in Game 3 of the division series, allowing one run in six innings, it was his first victory since Aug. 28.
"He was, I think, more antsy than anyone else in our clubhouse," Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre said. "He was very anxious to pitch tonight and was hoping that it would happen because he's very prepared."
Hernandez, bothered by a tired right shoulder, will be pitching for the first time since Oct. 1. New York decided against having Mussina pitch Game 4 on normal rest.
"If we did that and we didn't succeed in getting through (with) the series until the seventh game, then probably El Duque would probably be our seventh-game pitcher," Stottlemyre said. "We would probably not feel as comfortable with him in the seventh game as we do in the fourth game. Primarily, it's been a while since he's pitched."
If the series does return to New York, there wouldn't be an off day and Jon Lieber would start Game 6 Tuesday. Because of the rainout, the Yankees' options for a Game 7 appear to be Brown on three days' rest or Javier Vazquez, who has won once in 10 starts since Aug. 6.
And with no off day Monday, closer Mariano Rivera could have to pitch five days in a row, or four out of five. Rivera got the last four outs in the first and second games of the series.
"If he keeps his pitches down to somewhere between 15 and 20 pitches, he's very strong and we feel like that he can basically go every day," Stottlemyre said.
Tickets for Friday will be good for Game 5 on Monday, the Red Sox said. ... Monday's game would be at 5:10 p.m. unless the St. Louis Cardinals sweep Houston in the NL championship series. If there isn't an NL game that night, New York and Boston would play at 8:19 p.m. ... Last year, Game 4 at Fenway Park was postponed, causing the teams to lose the second travel day of the series, which New York won 4-3. ... Boston was 7-3 at Fenway against the Yankees this season. ... Arroyo was 5-0 in his last nine starts. The Red Sox won his four starts against New York, but he didn't get a decision in any of them.