Jered Weaver and the Stretch Run

By Michael Hllywa

Jered Weaver is the unquestioned Ace of the Angels pitching staff. It really goes without saying. Yes, this staff does have five all stars on it, but your Ace is the pitcher that you trust most in that do or die, one and done game. I trust no pitcher as much as I trust the Weave, and it definitely helps that he gets his bad pitching out of the way in August.

What’s that? Jered Weaver pitches bad? Ok, maybe not bad, but historically throughout his career August has been the month where Jered wears down a little bit. And that shows up when you look at his OPS+ against by month.

Monthly OPS+ against splits:

April/March – 89
May – 91
June – 80
July – 105
August – 129
September/October – 109

Jered Weaver: Superhuman before the all star break, merely mortal after the all start break.

Not exactly comforting is it? But, a 20 point drop off is somewhat significant. For example; this July Weaver’s opponents had an OPS+ of 114 against Weaver. How did Weaver fair in July? He went 6-0 with a 2.23 ERA and a 1.017 WHIP. in August the OPS+ jumps to 128, and Weaver went 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.121 WHIP. That was with a 14 point jump and Weaver still was, at worst, a serviceable starter who at least ate up some innings.

For his career, in August, Weaver is 14-14 with a 4.21 ERA and a 1.225 WHIP. Down the stretch? 14-7 with a 3.25 ERA and 1.170 WHIP.

What does this string of numbers mean? Well, they could mean absolutely nothing. Baseball is a funny game like that and the numbers don’t predict future performance. They do however show us that, historically, as the weather heats up, Weaver cools off. But, when the pressure goes up, Weaver bears down.

"“It’s gonna take more than Jered for us to reach our goals,” Scioscia said. “But the way Weav lines up right now, he’s got the maximum number of starts he can get, and we’d have some flexibility on that last day of the season.”"

And Scioscia is absolutely right. If we only win the seven games that Weaver starts this month, we’re in trouble. Everyone has to pull their weight, but our big guns need to pull a little bit more. Mike Trout, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Zack Greinke, Jered Weaver and so on. These guys have to come up huge this month and help carry this team. Having Jered starting seven games this month, is a good start. And as he has shown throughout his career, come September, like an Ace, he is ready.