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Mariners end Jered Weaver’s long winning streak

Aug 12, 2012, 6:50 PM EDT

Jesus Montero AP

Jesus Montero took the normally unbeatable Jered Weaver deep twice Sunday as the Mariners topped the Angels in Anaheim 4-1.

Weaver entered the day having won nine straight starts. He was 8-0 with a 0.92 ERA at home this year and 15-1 with a 2.13 ERA overall. His only previous defeat came in Texas back on May 13.

True to form, Montero had his big game after getting the start at catcher. He’s hit .316/.353/.513 with eight homers in 40 games as a catcher this year, compared to .243/.288/.344 with four homers in 58 games as a designated hitter.

Montero’s struggles as a designated hitter have to be of some concern to the Mariners, given that he also hasn’t shown much to suggest that he belongs behind the plate for the long haul.  The team made University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino the third overall pick in the 2011 draft, and he could be ready to start in the majors as soon as 2014. The Mariners may want to think about trying Montero at first base next year. Justin Smoak isn’t looking like much of a road block there.

As for Weaver, he came up one win shy of matching Chuck Finley’s Angels record for consecutive starts won. He’s still right there with Justin Verlander in the AL Cy Young race, though. Weaver tops the circuit with a 2.22 ERA, while Verlander is second at 2.46. Weaver has three more victories than Verlander’s 12, but Verlander has a huge lead in innings (175 2/3 to 138) and also ranks first in the AL in strikeouts with 174 (Weaver has 106).

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 12, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Weaver has 15 wins despite missing time with an injury. Verlander? Much too soon to anoint the 12 & 7 pitcher who is currently the fourth best in the AL. What about David Price who is 15 & 4 with a 2.50 ERA? How about Sale who is 14 & 3 with a 2.60 ERA. Strikeouts count in fantasy baseball, but in the real world, a ground out counts for just as much as a strikeout.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:05 PM

      Except ground outs are also dependent on the quality of your defense, which strikeouts do not.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 13, 2012 at 5:58 AM

        Baseball is a team game. If a pitcher can’t rely on his team to make plays behind him, he might just be a miserable SOB.

    • illegalblues - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      why are people still using pitcher wins as a meaningful statistic? i figured that we cleaned that mindset from the internet.

      The fWAR leaders are

      Justin Verlander 5.2 WAR
      King Felix 4.4 WAR
      Chris Sale 4.1 WAR
      David Price 3.5 WAR
      Jered Weaver 3.0 WAR

      Seems pretty reasonable that Verlander gets the nod again.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        War is a made up statistic based on assumptions and weightings that nobody can prove are reliable and meaningful. As I understand it, there are at least 2 versions of WAR outstanding that give different results because of different assumptions and weightings. In other words, WAR proves the old saying that there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

    • illegalblues - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      regardless, it’s a better way to measure rather than wins and ERA. brush up on the statistic rather than immediately discredit it due to two different sites calculating it differently.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        A problem with aggregative statistics is that systematic errors creep in that can render the stats invalid and next to useless. A major factor is weightings. How the heck can anone be certain that the weightings used in WAR are accurate. It is impossible to get the weightings right. Another factor is the validity and accuracy of the proxy data. For example, the definition of hits and errors is subject to human error by scorekeepers. Ballpark variations impact statistics.
        In my callow youth in the late1960’s I worked as part of a team that produced Canada’s Gross Domestic stats. It took a major leap of faith to say that the stuff we produced was accurate. When it comes to baseball, I prefer to keep it simple and to rely on my eyes.

  2. denny65 - Aug 13, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    Jesus Montero is, well…let’s just say he’s not a “natural” behind the plate.

    Replays always show him not only blinking his eyes shut when catching a ball with the hitter swinging, but his head moves noticeably to the right at the same time. Yeah, some would call that “flinching.” It’s a surprise that he’s able to catch a pitch at all without dropping it, and one wonders who in his baseball past positioned him as a catcher.

    I agree with Matt, Montero will have to be either retrained as a first baseman or groomed to be a DH (although he doesn’t do well at that job). Right now the Mariner’s best catcher is Miggy Olivo, with John Jaso a close second, and Jaso has been swinging a productive bat this season.

    Look for the Ms to trade/DFA Olivo at season’s end (hey, maybe they could throw in Chone Figgins in a package deal!) and go with Jaso and one of the two catchers currently down at AAA Tacoma–Bantz and Quiroz–as backup. Give Montero instructions to learn first base over the winter.

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