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Jered Weaver: that’s what an ace looks like

Aug 7, 2012, 8:51 AM EDT

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

Jered Weaver won again last night, shutting out the A’s for his league-leading 15th win of the season.

Weaver struck out nine, didn’t walk a batter and allowed only four hits. One of those guys was erased on a double play. In short: Weaver was dominant.

Weaver has won nine straight starts, and as a team the Angels have won his last 12 starts. His win total, his one loss on the season and his ERA (2.13) is the stuff of unanimous Cy Young Award votes.

Which, when you figure that, at present, Mike Trout is the easy favorite for Rookie of the Year and the likely favorite for AL MVP, the Angels are on pace to take home some serious hardware this postseason.

Not bad for a team that, if the season ended today, would find itself having to win a three-way tiebreaker for the last playoff slot.

  1. legacybroken - Aug 7, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Still second fiddle to the best pitcher in baseball Justin Verlander.

    • Jonny 5 - Aug 7, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      Actually I’d call him second fiddle to Dickey, Greinke, Sale, AND Verlander. Maybe more very soon? His xFIP is highest of all of the top 16 war leaders, which he’s 16th. That tells me he’s in for a little bit of a drop off. Still most voters look mainly at ERA and wins so the Cy Young award is a very strong possibility.

      • jarathen - Aug 7, 2012 at 9:21 AM

        A flyball pitcher like Weaver, pitching a lot of games in LA of A, Seattle, and Oakland is going to do well in those stadia. I don’t think it’s unfair for him to benefit from that; if anything, it shows how certain types of pitchers will perform better when put into the right circumstances.

        I’m a bit of a homer on it, but he’s been THE stabilizing force on the mound for this team. Without Trout and Weaver, this team isn’t in the playoff picture.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 7, 2012 at 9:37 AM

        I’m not trashing him, he’s a force on the mound. But there are other guys who have been better and project better that’s all. His LOB% is highest of the 16 best war leaders too. I just see his ERA as not sustainable and due to rise soon. Like I said though, He’s still a force on the mound and one of the very best in baseball.

      • seitz26 - Aug 7, 2012 at 10:00 AM

        How long does he have to sustain it before it becomes sustainable? His ERA since the beginning of the 2010 season (88 starts, 591 innings) is 2.45. At some point the projections have to give way to reality. If you said what Trout’s doing is not sustainable, I’d agree, but that’s mostly because don’t have seven seasons of track record to compare to.

      • Ben - Aug 7, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        What seitz26 said. He’s shown over the course of career that he, or the stadiums he pitches in, or both together, suppress home runs. The effect is actually much more dramatic at home, but even away he’s league average or better. Certain guys appear to have the ability to outperform their peripherals consistently, and at some point you have to concede the validity of their numbers. See: Cain, Matt.

    • sabatimus - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      Third fiddle: Verlander and King Felix are #1 and #2 (flip a coin to see which one is placed where).

    • kpow55 - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      It’s nice to see homers root for their own but not even close.

      Weaver is dominating Verlander this year in ERA and the only stat that matters, WINS.

      Weaver also has the career edge.

      The only thing Verlander may be better at at this point is landing barely “of age” swimsuit models.

  2. number42is1 - Aug 7, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    But wins in April don’t count anyway…. right?

    • sabatimus - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      Wins shouldn’t count at all toward a Cy Young Award. That’s a team stat. The voters are starting come around on that idea: Felix won the Cy in 2010 despite a 13-12 record–and despite (or maybe because of?) the fact that the Mariners were 61-101 that year.

  3. legacybroken - Aug 7, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Most voters are still trending towards Verlander who has a great ERA as well as huge leads in all the peripheral stats and sabermetrics. Weaver only has wins and the lowest ERA on his side.Most writers have already devalued wins and Weaver’s ERA is a byproduct of his fewer starts and innings pitched. As he pitches more innings and his ERA better reflect his weaker peripherals, we will see Weaver drop lower in Cy Young contention much like last year where his numbers dropped in August and September.

  4. kiwicricket - Aug 7, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Not reallllllly related, but will throw it out there for comparison….

    The Red Sox are a combined 10 games UNDER .500 on the days Beckett and Lester start.
    (Their other starters are 10games over)

  5. proudlycanadian - Aug 7, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    So far, Weaver and Price have been the best pitchers in the AL. It is still too early to predict who will win the AL Cy Young award. Peripherals have very little impact on Cy Young votes and rightly so. Wins, losses and ERA are the factors that voters look at. Strikeouts are nice, but outs are more important. To paraphrase wise Chinese politician, “It does not matter if the cat is black or white, what is important is whether it catches mice or not.”

    • jarathen - Aug 7, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      I wish Price had more traction. He toils away in obscurity and is easily one of the best five pitchers in the AL. Felix, Weaver, Verlander, Price, and take your pick after that: Greinke, Sale, whatever.

  6. APBA Guy - Aug 7, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    It’s a gift that we get to watch the King and Weaver pitch on a regular basis on the West Coast. It sucks monkeys that they pitch against the beloved A’s.

    In truth, watching these guys all the time and the other important pitchers occasionally, it’s too soon for Sale, and Price has command lapses the others don’t have. Only Verlander belongs in the discussion with The King and Weaver.

    You can’t go wrong with any of those three. Last night it was Weaver, who was absolutely, totally, and inconveniently dominant. 15-1, 2.19 ERA. You can look at the secondary numbers all you want, but if you saw that game, what you saw was a pitcher who was not going to lose. That was his game. He owned it. I hope Parker and the rest of the young A’s starters were taking notes.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      Too bad Verlander didn’t bring his “A” game to this year’s all-star game. He cost his league home field advantage in the World Series, not that I think winning the all-star game should determine home field advantage in the Series. And don’t get me wrong: “Verlander’s “A” game is as good as anyone’s in the game, right now. What’s incredible about him is he gets stronger as the games progress. Verlander blew away 14 Yankees the other night!

  7. kevinbnyc - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    People can talk until they’re blue in the face about WAR (don’t understand the calculation), xFIP (don’t even know what that is), and all the other fancy sabermetrics. But isn’t the bottom line that the dude pitches lights out, makes his team better, and helps win games?

    • sabatimus - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      Yes, that’s the bottom line, but much of that bottom line can be explained through such statistics.

  8. gret9 - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    He also has two of the worst offenses in the AL and three of the best pitchers parks, including his home park, in the AL in his division. Meanwhile, Sale is pitching his home games in a hitters paradise. I’ll take Sale or Verlander over Weaver any day that ends in a ‘y’.

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