After a zany eight run fourth inning in which Yakety Sax must have been playing in the background, Jered Weaver was able to cruise to an 11-3 win over the Rangers on Tuesday night. For the Angels ace, it marks his career tying 18th win of the season and 100th of his career.
While the saber crowd (myself included I suppose) will harp on you about the meaninglessness of pitcher wins, 100 is a shiny round number and, frankly, not that easy to reach. Pitchers, the ticking time bomb of injuries that they are, need a tremendous amount of luck, health and skill to make it to 100 wins. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see 2011 top pick Garritt Cole win closer to zero games than 100 in his major league career and that is no knock on him.
However you feel about the stat, Weaver does deserve some credit and praise for reaching that milestone. The icing on the cake, of course, is that the former Dirtbag has done it all wearing an Angels jersey. Weaver’s reaction after the game via Alden Gonzalez’s Twitter feed…
“It’s great from an individual standpoint, but I have a long way to go. It’s nice to get 100, it’s been an honor to do it all in an Angels uniform, I wouldn’t have had it any other way, and hopefully these fans see maybe 200 more. It’s awesome. It’s great from an individual standpoint, but we’re trying to win games here.”
Weaver’s ambition is admirable but 300 wins ain’t happening. Since the live ball era began in 1920, 122 pitchers had 100 wins before they turned 30 (Weaver is 29). While names like Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Don Sutton and Tom Seaver populate that list, there are many more names that never sniffed 200 wins. Weaver is off to a good start, though, and isn’t a guy relying on his miles per hour to get outs. In that park with Mike Trout roaming the outfield, Weaver will be able to rack up many more wins by being a flyball pitcher.
Weaver continues to be mentioned in the AL Cy Young race. He’ll get some votes, that much is certain. He’s tied with David Price for most wins (18) and is third in ERA (2.79) behind Chris Sale (2.78) and Price (2.54). However, Weaver’s 2.7 fWAR (Fangraphs wins above replacement) is only good for 15th in the AL (behind Rick Porcello!) and his 3.4 rWAR (Baseball-Reference wins above replacement) is ninth. Obviously WAR isn’t everything but the fact that Justin Verlander is dominating in both version kind of gives you an idea of how good he is.
Thanks to a DL stint and some skipped starts, Weaver has also thrown more than a handful fewer innings than Verlander, Price and Felix Hernandez. Weaver finished second in 2011 and will likely have another top five finish this season, With just a few more starts, 20 wins isn’t out of the question but I’m sure sneaking into the playoffs holds a little more weight right now.
Congratulations Jered. Keep it up, bro.