Last night, Jered Weaver became only the fourth pitcher in modern Major League Baseball history to begin the season 6-0 in March/April. The other three were Dave Stewart for the Athletics in 1988, Randy Johnson for the Diamondbacks in 2000 and 2002 and Brandon Webb again for the Diamondbacks in 2008.
While it’s true that in order to accumulate pitching wins, a pitcher requires a lot of things beyond his control to fall into place, Weaver has more than held up his end of the bargain in each of his six starts this season. Last night against the Athletics wasn’t any different. Weaver struck out ten batters en route to his third career shutout and second straight complete game, as the Angels won 5-0.
How dominant has Jered Weaver been so far this season? The Angels starter now leads the league in strikeouts and dropped his earned run average to below 1. What’s behind this success?
According to Mike Scioscia:
He has a breaking ball and a changeup, he changes speeds off his fastball. It’s not like he throws the ball down the middle. He’s making pitches. He’s on a terrific roll. If we keep supporting him he’s going to have a terrific year. Experience is a great teacher. He’s definitely grown from his experience in the major leagues. He understands what he can do, and what works for him to maintain that all season. He’s grown in a number of areas, game to game, season to season, and also throughout the offseason. He understands what he needs to do.
Weaver’s repertoire includes two fastballs, a curve, a slider and a changeup, all of which he uses to great effect. But his success on the mound is nothing new. Last season, Weaver led the league in strikeouts and had a 3.06 FIP. The biggest difference between then and now is in the run support he’s gotten. The long and lanky right hander received only 3.2 runs from his offense when he was on the mound in 2010. This year, that number is up an entire run per start.
While it’s still early going, all indications point to Weaver being the type of Cy Young candidate that both old school baseball writers and new school seam heads could agree on at season’s end.
And The Rest:
Phil Hughes had a significant setback in his rehabilitation from arm trouble.
Scott Boras is already peddling Prince Fielder, and we’re barely twenty games into the season.
Not even Chipper Jones’ 500th career double was enough to stop the San Diego Padres last night.
The Milwaukee Brewers have suddenly found themselves with a new hawk mascot, and eats pigeons in center field while an entire stadium watches. Your move, rally monkey.
Adrian Beltre is insanely animated in the batter’s box, and that means taking a knee from time to time.
Before Manny was Manny, he posed for a ton of awesome black and white pictures.
Are the David Wright trade rumours a sign that the New York Mets are preparing for a fire sale?
Tony LaRussa’s daughter is now a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders. I’m pretty sure I could only find her attractive if I didn’t know who Tony LaRussa was or what he looked like.
As much as people ride J.P. Ricciardi for letting Troy Tulowitzki escape the Blue Jays grasp, it’s important to remember that Jeff Clement was taken with the third overall pick.
Why did it take Carl Crawford so long to become Carl Crawford this year?
The 2011 Kansas City Royals aren’t just a team of stop gaps, they’re also close knit. Soon they’ll put a life size cut out of their owner in the locker room and tear away a piece of clothing after each win.
Gabe Gross has decided to retire from baseball.
Luke Scott: Such a charming ignoramus.
Finally, would this guy be as eager to hump the Cleveland Indians mascot if it was an offensive stereotype instead of the multi-coloured pansexual being that it is? Also, sandals? Really, dude?