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Reflections on Weaver's magical night

5/3/2012

The first person I ran into on the way from the press box to the clubhouse after Jered Weaver's no-hitter last night was former Angels general manager Bill Stoneman.

Stoneman had this glow in his eyes and an ear-to-ear smile as he walked toward the elevator. Not only did he scout and sign Weaver out of Long Beach State eight years ago, but he had a pretty good notion how difficult it was to do what Weaver had just done. As a Montreal Expos pitcher in the early 1970s, Stoneman pitched two no-hitters.

Their styles couldn't have been much more different, particularly for two right-handers. Stoneman, 5-foot-11, was an extreme power pitcher with control issues. He led the league in walks twice. Weaver, 6-foot-7, is a finesse pitcher who walks as many people in two weeks as Stoneman did in a game.

I asked Stoneman to characterize Weaver's no-hitter.

"He was in command the entire way," Stoneman said. "It was like, 'Man, is he on tonight.' "

• On the way home from the stadium in the wee hours, I listened to the replay on AM 830. Mark Langston was providing analysis along with play-by-play man Terry Smith.

It was amazing how in-tune Langston was with what Weaver was doing on the mound.

In the first inning, Langston noted how unusual it was for Weaver to throw so much off-speed stuff early in a game, something Dan Haren noticed as he charted Weaver's pitches in the Angels clubhouse. In the second inning, Langston predicted Weaver would try to put Chris Parmelee away with a high fastball. Sure enough, Weaver pumped one by him, the one catcher Chris Iannetta dropped for a passed ball that accounted for the only base runner until the seventh inning.

• The topic of my postgame column was how much Weaver loves pitching in front of friends and family, near where he grew up and went to college. Mark Simon of the ESPN Stats and Info department, sent along an interesting attachment to that angle.

Weaver also just loves pitching at Angel Stadium. Since 2010, Weaver leads the majors in home ERA (1.72), home opponents batting average (.198) and is second in home WHIP (0.94). Add it all up -- sentiment and results -- and Weaver's decision to sign an extension with the Angels looks smarter by the day.