Los Angeles Angels defeat New York Yankees, 7-6

ANAHEIM - John Lackey is the Angels' big game pitcher.

And the Angels couldn't have a bigger game than this one.

The Halos stand on the brink of elimination in Thursday night's Game 5 of the AL Championship Series against the Yankees. The biggest moment of Lackey's career also came in an elimination game, when he was tabbed to start Game 7 of the 2002 World Series against the Giants - which he won with five solid innings.

"Then I was, what? I was 22. I was just tryin...

ANAHEIM - Twenty cases of champagne sat outside the clubhouse waiting to be opened Thursday night. But as the Yankees headed for their charter flight back to New York, the corks remained tightly sealed.

That's because after staging an improbable six-run seventh inning to erase a four-run Angels lead, the Yankees watched as their bullpen melted down in a 7-6 loss in Game 5 that sent the ALCS back to the Bronx.

Many Yankees players had scheduled flights to their homes ...

Almost automatic in the regular season setting up for closer Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes has struggled through the playoffs. And the 23-year-old righthander is feeling the pressure.

"It's almost like he wants to throw a good pitch so bad, he's too quick through his delivery," Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland said Friday. "He knows it, we've worked on it and he'll get it.

"He knows we trust him."

The real question: Does Hughes trust himself?

After two years of...