Jered Weaver made his first start today since being suspended due to his now-infamous, retaliatory headhunting versus the Detroit Tigers earlier in the month, and it appears on face value that his enormous momentum he carried in not only the season, but also the neck-and-neck Cy Young Award race against Justin Verlander, suffered most from that debatable suspension. The Angels were relatively unheard of offensively, again, but that's not so much out of the ordinary with this club. What IS out of the ordinary, however, is the 8 earned runs that the Halos ace gave up after just 5 innings.
The deluge started early, with Jered Weaver getting rocked by Edwin Encarnacion for a 2 run homer in the first. This seemed like an anomaly; not only for the game but for the season, as it was only Weaver's 9th homer run allowed on the year. Weaver, while boasting an insanely low ERA, has not quite been a machine the whole season, and he has indeed given up some runs here and there...basically, he IS human. But even so, it wasn't out of the realm of possiblity that the Angels faithful, watching/listening from home, thought that the ex-Dirtbag could hold the Blue Birds enough till the Angels deliver with a trademark burst of 2 or 3 runs. This prospect looked grim after the 2nd inning, where Rajai Davis got a two out double, followed by a John McDonald double which scored Davis. So it's 3-0 after two innings. As some fans emoted in the game thread, this is almost insurmountable with this anemic lineup, but still not entirely a pipe dream.
If there was a pipe dream of having a comeback, it was collectively shattered to a million little pieces when Jered Weaver got to the fifth inning and, after loading the bases, gave up a grand slam to Adam Lind. It only got worse, folks. In what was easily the most uncharacteristic start of the season for Weaver, he followed up that grand slam by giving up a solo shot to Mark Teahen. That would be the end of Jered Weaver for the afternoon. The damage was quick, it was heavy and it was obviously too much. Perhaps the missed start, due to suspension, got Jered off of his rhythm, because it seemed from the contest's onset that something was off. Nothing to signal an injury or dead arm, but more of a case of his not being able to pinpoint those pitches. Weaver was just not able to get inside on the Blue Jays. Or rather, when he did pitch inside and try to jam up batters, that's usually when he got shelled the hardest and farthest.
So Weaver left unceremoniously in the 5th with an 8-1 deficit. What happened from here on out is immaterial, but I'll sum it up anyway: Bobby Cassevah came in, gave up some hits but no runs. Joel Pineiro came in and gave up some hits and a few runs. Alberto Callaspo homered. Torii Hunter kept his hit streak going to 11 games with a nice extra base hit in the 9th. Other than that...sorry, guys. Nothing much to write home about.
Jered Weaver has been nothing but automatic this year, and today we saw one of those "off" days that are bound to happen eventually, even to the best of them. I don't think it signals the end of his dominance this year, because he can obviously bounce back from a bad loss just as he has in the past. The only thing that will sting, though, is the hit his Cy Young campaign will take. There are still games to be played and the AL West is still close enough, but lets hope Weaver got this post-suspension suckitude out of his system, for good.
PS...Mike Scioscia said in his post-game that the Angels should "Turn the page." This is great advice. I wish he'd wax poetic like that more often.