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The Magic Number is 9

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The stadium tonight only had 37,000 on hand and due to a game of many pitching changes and long at-bats, the place was emptying steadily after 9 p.m. even though it was only the bottom of the 6th inning.

At that point, the Angels had only scored two runs on three hits and Texas had made the most of a scrappy inning where slow ball handling caused some double plays to not be recorded, allowing 2 runs across. Then a Hank Blalock 2 run homer and Donnelly serving up a solo cookie (although in Brendan's defense, he did have a critical strikeout with the bases loaded in the prior inning) simply added up to the makings of a lousy night, but you had to keep the frickin' faith.

So the stadium was emptying out after two plus hours and a three run deficit late (It is a school night) - and I spied some amazing empty seats in a good location and walked on down there. All the season seat regulars gasped when I got up to leave - it was an indication of losing faith, something I am not known for in my seat section. A friend and I snuck up and saw the big 4-run inning. A reminder of the 2002 squad to be sure - and you know where that mojo led us, right?

While it was the Texas bullpen melting to Jose Molina of all people, hey, we're a deep team and Jose is our righty bat with a teensy bit of pop.

Any combination of Angel wins and Oakland losses that add up to 9 equals an American League Western Division title for our squad and qualification for the 2005 playoffs.