Tuesday, September 27, 2011
By design, the numbers don't add up (and lineups)
By Mark Saxon
By shutting down Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana before their final starts of 2011, the Angels might have missed out on a couple of cool milestones.
Weaver needed to get only four outs to beat out Justin Verlander for the league ERA title. An inning and a third without allowing a run would have whittled Weaver's ERA from 2.41 to 2.39. Weaver wasn't aware how close he was until reporters informed him before Tuesday's game.
"Yeah, well, oops," Weaver said. "I should have thrown a couple more zeroes up there."
If Santana had just gotten four outs, the Angels would have had three pitchers each throw at least 230 innings for the first time since 1973, when staffs worked on three days' rest routinely. Weaver and Dan Haren already have surpassed 230 innings while Santana will finish with 228 2/3.
"It comes to a point where we would be stretching them for diminishing returns right now," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We have to look out, obviously, for these guys moving forward, to be ready to do this again next year."
Here are lineups for Tuesday's game, which would resemble a spring training game except the Rangers need to win it to keep their edge over the Detroit Tigers for second-best record in the league. The team that finishes with more losses has to travel to New York to open the playoffs while the other team opens at home against the wild-card winner: