The good news is that Steve Finley homered and doubled, driving in three runs and leading the Angels to victory. The bad news is that Steve Finely homered and doubled, which means that Scioscia is likely to put him in the lineup next week, except maybe against Zito. But I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade. It was a big win, especially because Oakland won today. The Angels need to show the A's that they're not putting pressure on anyone. The Angels fate is in their own hands. Win five games and the division championship stays in Anaheim. Win four of 8, at least one against Oakland, same result.
After some trouble in the first inning, J-dub settled down and looked terrific. Great job getting the win in what may have been his final start in Anaheim as a member of the Angels. I have mixed opinions about possibly re-siging him, but we can deal with that later. Vlad led off the scoring with #32, and after a couple of knocks, Finely erased the early deficit with a three run shot. The Angels would single runs in three later inning, with only Estaban Yan allowing a meaningless run in the ninth providing the final margin.
Shields has looked very good for a few consecutive outings now. That's huge. What would be even better would be to win tomorrow, and take the first two against Oakland. Wrapping things up early would give them a chance to rest that bullpen. It's vitally important, with this erratic offense, to have the relievers rested and healthy for the possible playoffs. Final home game of the season tomorrow. Bart gets the start, oddly enough. I thought they'd save him for the Oakland series. But starting him tomorrow means he's in line for another start against Texas, if needed, a team who he has dominated. And if that final start is not needed, he's set up to start a possible game one with extra rest. Still, waiting until Monday to start him wouldn't have changed any of that, so I'm not quite sure why they're doing this, but that's why I don't get paid the big bucks.
80 at Cog Hill today. Two bogeys, one birdie, 11 pars, and four freaking doubles. I'm almost there, but I need to get rid of the big numbers. Ironically, two doubles came when I took either 3-wood or 2-iron off the tee to play is safe. So much for dialing it back a bit. Birdied #13, though, which is the toughest hole on the course in my opinion. And naturally, I'm starting to make my best contact right as the season is ending. Oh well.