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Angels Stayin' Alive, Happy B-Day John Lackey: Friday Halolinks

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Angels keep their season going with Game 5 victory --
"Man, it could be 2 degrees, snowing and hailing, and we'll play," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said. "It's going to be wet. It's going to be soggy. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be exciting." It would be hard to imagine the Angels and Yankees packing more excitement into nine innings than they did Thursday night.

Angels rally and survive late scare to win Game 6, 7-6. -
For six innings, Lackey was the Angels’ man on the wall. He cruised into the seventh inning with a 4-0 lead only to run into the kind of moment that would have haunted the Angels all winter, replacing last fall’s failed squeeze bunt as the most controversial decision of Mike Sciosica’s managerial career.

Angels rally for three in seventh, push Yankees to Game 6 -
Mere moments after the Los Angeles Angels unleashed their leaping, screeching, rambunctious Rally Monkey on the scoreboard, they erased a late deficit and saved their season. Surely that monkey business was just a coincidence. He's just a marketing gimmick, a video star and a plush toy -- right?

Team Reports -
Manager Mike Scioscia made one minor change to his batting order for Game 5, moving slumping LF Juan Rivera down one spot to seventh against RHP A.J. Burnett. With LHP Andy Pettitte scheduled to start Game 6, he might consider some more significant changes. "We're going to absorb this one," Scioscia said. "We'll talk as a staff and see where we're going to go."

Video highlights from last night's game:

TV, radio calls for the Halos' first frame -
TV and radio broadcasters make the call for the Angels' four-run first inning

Lackey fans seven Yanks in 6 2/3 innings -
John Lackey strikes out seven Yankees in 6 2/3 innings of work

Angels score three in the seventh -
The Angels retake the lead by scoring three in the seventh inning

Weaver blanks the Yanks in the eighth -
Potential Game 7 starter Jered Weaver pitches a scoreless eighth in relief, striking out two

TV, radio calls for final out -
TV and radio calls for the final out of Game 5 between the Yankees and Angels

Halos hold on to send it back to the Bronx -
Daily Recap: The Halos, who rallied for a three-run seventh, kept their season going by beating the Yanks in Game 5 of the ALCS

Game 5 Highlights and interviews -

After Thrill of Angels’ Game 5 Victory, a Rush of Relief -
"I’ve got a headache," said Torii Hunter, who came off the field after the Yankees scored six runs in the seventh inning and slammed his glove in the dugout. "I got gray hair, if I let my hair grow out." Of course, Hunter wore a huge smile, too, one that was shared around the clubhouse.

Angels, Brian Fuentes survive adventurous ninth - Joe Posnanski -
The Yankees' first three hitters in the inning were Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez -- and yes, just those three hitters made a combined $65 million this year, more than six teams in the big leagues.

Angels' rally gives them second life -
The night was already overstuffed with raw nerves and jangly emotions. And Angels manager Mike Scioscia still went ahead and replaced hot new set-up man Jered Weaver with closer Brian Fuentes to start the ninth. Why not just signal the ushers to pass out Maalox to the 45,113 screaming themselves hoarse in Angels Stadium?

Scioscia on a tightrope - Angels Unplugged - Los Angeles Times
After the Angels failed to score with another mini-rally, it was the top of the ninth, and Scioscia, needing a victory to stave off elimination, had yet another major decision.

Los Angeles Angels rescue manager from scrutiny with win in ALCS Game 5 - ESPN
But for Southern California baseball fans and Internet second-guessers, two decisions by Scioscia would have made for bountiful talk-show fodder if the Angels' season had ended Thursday. Ron Gardenhire, Terry Francona, Jim Tracy, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre are all sitting at home, but Scioscia lives to manage another day because his closer, Brian Fuentes, was slightly less of a train wreck than two of the relievers who preceded him.

Drama, strategy gaffes frame Game 5's wild inning - Stan McNeal - MLB - Sporting News
In the inning, every player but one in both lineups went to bat. The Yankees' Nick Swisher batted twice, and made two outs. At least one glove was thrown in the Angels' dugout ("I was (upset)," Torii Hunter said. At least one pitcher (John Lackey) lost his cool. Four pitching changes were made, one too early and one not early enough.

Angels refuse to go into that good night with 7-6 win -
Still, in a postseason where every series has been a rout, this one now has a clear whiff of uncertainty. "Anything's possible," Hunter said. "We're grinders. That's what we do." Thursday was the kind of victory that can make a team believe. If the Angels win Game 6, it'll be a tense Sunday in the Bronx.

Opinion: Wild 7th inning is 45 minutes of high drama -
"Nine runs in one inning. That doesn't happen in the postseason," said Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen, who gave up a two-run triple to Robinson Cano that allowed the Yankees to take a two-run lead after they began the inning trailing 4-0.

Saunders heads to Bronx with momentum -
"Well, they are the favorites," Saunders said. "But after this [Game 5 win], we've obviously got a lot of confidence, a lot of momentum. We're going to be ready to play. It's going to be the usual Yankee hostile environment. They're going to be all over us. It's going to be a good battle."

Fack Youk Exclusive: A Conspiracy
As you may be aware, Fack Youk has been involved in a bit of a blogowar with a certain Angels' blog whom I refuse to name or link to any longer given the sheer amount of garbage they've spewed over the past week.

This is a pretty good Yankee's blog which, although they're not too impressed with Halos Heaven, I encourage you to visit.

Los Angeles Dodgers' Frank McCourt fires wife Jamie as CEO -
"Jamie was disappointed and saddened by her termination," Jamie McCourt's lawyer Dennis Wasser said. "As co-owner of the Dodgers, she will address this and all other issues in the court room."

This is going to get UGLY!

October 23 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on October 23.
Happy birthday to 2009 ALCS Game Five Should-Have-Been-Winner: 1978 - John Lackey, pitcher; All-Star