Any concerns about Jered Weaver and lingering back problems can be put to rest after the Angels ace was sharp in his first start off the disabled list.
Weaver was on an 80 to 90 pitch count to ease him into his rotation spot. After breezing through six innings, Weaver only tossed 78 pitches of shutout ball allowing a pair of hits and walks. The Angels recorded their 10th shutout of the season by downing the Giants 6-0 on Weaver’s pitching and back-to-back home runs by Kendrys Morales (on his birthday!) and Mark Trumbo. While my Mike Trout love is out of control, Trumbo is having a fine season himself. Trumbo’s 2.7 fWAR (Fangraphs wins above replacement) is sixth in the AL and his team-leading 17 home runs are eighth.
Weaver knew he was going to be limited in his return from a back sprain. With only one prior DL stint, the durable Weaver wasn’t thrilled about not getting a seventh inning. But Mike Scioscia was going to err on the side of caution considering Ervin Santana‘s struggle (to put it nicely) and Jerome William’s current DL trip with some pretty scary sounding breathing issues. That doesn’t mean Weaver didn’t almost, kinda call bullcrap about getting yanked after six…
“It was a little weird,” he said. “I came in a couple times and was like, ‘Man, this is bullcrap.’ But I knew it was going to happen.”
He said there was no sign of the back pain that he described as “a knife in my back” and really hasn’t been since “a couple days after” that start against the Yankees. It wasn’t in his back or on his mind Wednesday.
“No, if I was thinking about it, it wasn’t good to be out there,” Weaver said.
It’s good to have the long-haired one back. Texas can be caught and Weaver has some ground to make up on Justin Verlander and Chris Sale if he wants to finish higher than second for the Cy Young this year.