Friday, July 22, 2011
Weaver bests Wilson as aces rule Thursday
Two aces squared off in Anaheim Thursday afternoon, and though the Angels emerged as the 1-0 winners against the Rangers, both Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson pitched like Cy Young candidates.
Weaver tossed seven scoreless innings for his 12th straight quality start. That’s the third-longest streak in a single season by an Angels pitcher, behind a 14-gamer in 1977 by Frank Tanana and a 13-start streak by Bert Blyleven in 1989.
Weaver recorded 18 swings-and-misses, his second-highest total this season, and kept the Rangers guessing, with nine misses on fastballs and nine on off-speed pitches.
C.J. Wilson threw a two-hitter but took the complete game loss as the lone run was scored on an error. He’s the first pitcher to a lose a complete game with zero earned runs and two hits or fewer allowed since the Yankees’ Kenny Rogers did it on May 28, 1996 against the Angels.
Wilson did his best to keep the Angels from scoring, allowing zero hits in nine at-bats with runners on base, including three strikeouts.
It was the first win for the Angels with two-or-fewer hits since May 1, 2005 against the Twins, and the first loss for the Rangers allowing fewer than three hits since Aug. 15, 1989 against the Mariners.
Later in the night, two more aces battled in a pitchers’ duel, with James Shields and the Rays winning a tight 2-1 game over CC Sabathia and the Yankees at the Trop.
Shields dominated with his changeup, as the Yankees went 0-for-11 in at-bats ending in the pitch. Shields was also effective in finishing off the Yankees, retiring 15 of the 16 batters that reached a two-strike count on him.
Sabathia went the distance but saw his seven-start win streak end, though he continued his hot pitching, and is now 5-1 with a 0.76 ERA and 58 strikeouts over his last six starts.
Elsewhere around the diamond
• Justin Verlander continued his stellar season, throwing eight innings of one-run ball against the Twins. Verlander relied on his fastball, throwing it nearly 66 percent of the time, his highest usage this season. He kept his heater out of harm's way, as 42 of his 83 fastballs were out of the strike zone, and the Twins went just 1-for-7 when putting those in play.
• Seattle Mariners lost 7-5 to the Toronto Blue Jays, extending their losing streak to 12 games. That matches the second-longest losing streak in team history, behind only a 14-game streak in 1992.
• The Tigers' 6-2 win over the Twins was their 10th straight vs Minnesota. That’s the longest win streak by Detroit over the Twins franchise in team history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
• Atlanta Braves came back from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Colorado Rockies 9-6 in Denver. Craig Kimbrel earned his 30th save of the season, tying the Braves rookie record set by Kerry Ligtenberg in 1998.