Angels 7, Devil Rays 3
Magic Number: 5
I was certain that Jarrod Washburn was toast after his 29-pitch First Inning. But he proved me wrong and I couldn't be happier.
I was certain Steve Finley was toast by watching every at-bat he'd had up until tonight. He didn't prove anything other than he can hit a Tampa Bay Righty.
Enjoyment of this game is impossible without realizing Finley's (for once) contributing inevitably inspires Scioscia to rely on the Unproven Veteran as a regular. On May 14, Steve was batting .203, and he's managed to get that all the way up to .217 tonight.
Basically, Finley is Jeff DaVanon with a little more pop and no plate discipline. We are a deeper team with him on the bench. We are also a better team when he stays there.
Ironically, the Fox West cameras were on the fritz during the inning Finley hit a three run homer, so besides the box score, it is like it never happened.
It was a great regaining of composure by Washburn in what was his final regular season start at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, barring Scott Boras' offseason inability to find a sucker to overpay for Jarrod's arm. If we make the postseason, Washburn is certain to be a nice part of it, preferably on the road where he somehow manages to find gloves instead of gaps.
Perhaps Finley can have a few redeeming moments in the spotlight and we can ship him out of Anaheim for half a prospect and a bucket of balls.