- Mark Saxon, ESPN Staff Writer
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jered Weaver is having the best first month of any Angels starting pitcher ever. Weaver (6-0) breezed through a complete-game, seven-hit, 10-strikeout performance Monday in the Angels' 5-0 win over the Oakland A's.
No Angels pitcher had ever picked up his sixth win by the team's 23rd game. Weaver needed only 114 pitches to stifle a slumping Oakland lineup. It was his second straight complete game and only the sixth of his career.
The roll. Weaver made the A's lineup look like... well, a lot like the Angels' did over the weekend against the Boston Red Sox's staff. The last pitcher in the majors to win six games this quickly in a season was Arizona's Randy Johnson. How'd that work out? Johnson went 24-5, had a 2.32 ERA and won his fourth straight Cy Young award that season.
New day. Adding Howie Kendrick to the list of slumping Angels was the final straw over the weekend. Kendrick has been the most consistent hitter at driving the ball, but he came into Monday in a 1-for-14 skid. That ended quickly, when Kendrick lined a two-run single to right field. He later had a hit that bounced off the third baseman's glove.
Creativity. Mark Trumbo was stuck in the worst slump of his young career (0-for-20) when he figured out a way to snap it. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound first baseman shocked the defense by bunting for a hit in the fourth inning... and managed to get it past pitcher Gio Gonzalez for a hit.
Hunter's luck. Torii Hunter's slump might be a bit deceptive. He hit a vicious liner right to David DeJesus in the first inning, similar to a ball Hunter hit in Sunday's game. In the Texas series, he pulled a ball into the corner, but Nelson Cruz was standing right there. Hunter is batting .096 in his last 14 games, but some of that has been bad luck. He's also one of the few Angels showing some patience. Hunter walked twice.
Catching up. Soon, the Angels figure to break up the three-catcher glut, but it's hard to predict who will go. The amazing thing is that Jeff Mathis continues to get as much time as rookie Hank Conger despite a glaring gap in hitting ability. Mathis went 0-for-3 with a double play grounder and strikeout and is now batting .200. Mathis has started 12 games to Conger's nine. Bobby Wilson has caught two games, but he's out of options.
Coco can. Going into Monday, Oakland leadoff hitter Coco Crisp had one hit in 17 career at-bats against Weaver. Somehow, he managed to come up with three hits in one game, and the rest of Oakland's lineup had four. Crisp is now hitting .190 off Weaver.