Friday, July 20, 2012
Weaver looking for redemption vs. Rangers
By Kenton Wong, ESPN Stats & Information
Trailing the Texas Rangers by six games, the Los Angeles Angels have a chance to cut that deficit in half with a sweep this weekend in Anaheim.
The Halos have their ace Jered Weaver on the mound Friday in the opener and he’ll be looking for redemption.
Weaver’s shortest outing of the season (aside from his injury-shortened start against the Yankees) came in a May start in Texas in which the Rangers lit him up for 10 hits and a career-high-tying eight runs in 3 1/3 innings.
In that start, Weaver had a lot of trouble missing Ranger bats as just nine percent of swings came up empty. Compare that to his overall season numbers, where 19 percent of swings have missed.
Much better results can be expected this time around, as Weaver has been nearly unhittable at the Big A.
His 0.58 ERA, 0.56 WHIP and .131 opponents' BA at home are each tops in the majors among qualified starters. The Angels have won each of his seven home starts.
Lowest Opp BA vs. Fastball Starters This Season Jered Weaver .183
Barry Zito .202
Ryan Vogelsong .210
Jeremy Hellickson .210
Justin Verlander .215
Chris Sale .215
Since coming off of the disabled list on June 20 following a back injury, Weaver has won all five of his starts with an ERA of 1.56. The streak of five straight starts with a win is tied for the third-longest in his career.
Weaver’s fastball has continued to be his bread and butter as he’s thrown the pitch 64 percent of the time since returning to action, but his curveball improvement has been a big reason behind his hot streak.
Prior to going on the DL, opponents hit .313 on at-bats ending in Weaver’s curve -- missing on 23 percent of swings. Since returning, Weaver has held opponents to a .095 average (2-21) on curves as they have missed on the pitch 43 percent of the time.
The current Ranger that has given Weaver the most trouble over his career is Elvis Andrus. Texas’ shortstop is 21-49 in his career against Weaver with six extra-base hits -- going 2-3 with a double in their first meeting this season.
Weaver hasn’t been able to jam Andrus, giving up a large portion of those hits on inside pitches. On pitches to the outer third of the plate and beyond, Andrus is 0-8 against Weaver.
For the second straight start, the Angels will look to Weaver to prevent a three-game losing streak. The team hasn’t dropped three straight since May 19-21.