By the end of the regular season, Jarrod Washburn could very well end up being one of the best pitchers in the American League. Then again, he could be average at best.
Washburn will look to avoid adding another chapter to his inconsistent start when he takes the mound for the first-place Los Angeles Angels in the deciding game of their series with the league-best Chicago White Sox.
Despite his solid 3.54 ERA, Washburn has been largely hit or miss this season. The 30-year-old left-hander, who is 70-51 with a 4.04 ERA in eight seasons with the Angels, has allowed no runs in four of his starts, and at least five runs in three others. He has pitched six innings or more six times, including five efforts of at least seven frames, but opponents are hitting .305 against him.
That type of inconsistency showed itself again in his last outing, only this time the Angels benefited. Washburn turned in arguably his finest effort of the season, allowing just five hits over seven innings in a 9-0 victory over the Dodgers on Friday.
The Angels will need to see the most recent version of Washburn if they are to win this series because thus far it has been dominated by stellar pitching.
Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi doubled home Joe Crede with the winning run as the White Sox improved to a league-best 17-8 on the road. Chicago’s 32 wins in its first 46 games matches the 1951 and ’57 teams for best start in franchise history.
Washburn will be opposed on Wednesday by right-hander Freddy Garcia, who has owned the Angels in his career, going 10-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 19 starts.