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A Winged Victory For The Sullen

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Weaver lifts, Angels rise; 2-0 final against Houston.

What were you just saying about my velocity?
What were you just saying about my velocity?
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Jered Weaver would like you all to chill.

Yeah, okay, an 87 mph fastball is not going to relieve all doubts about his noodly arm for the rest of the season, but the guy on the mound tonight was clearly better than the guy we've seen the last few weeks, and more like the guy we've seen the last few years. This guy shut down the opposition and gave the bullpen the night off. Final line: 9 innings, 6 K's, 6 hits, and 0 walks on 120 pitches. Every hit was a single, and Weaver allowed only one baserunner after the third inning. All this from a front-line starter whose longest start topped out at 98 pitches and was still soft-tossing at 83-84 mph just a few nights ago.

The Angels definitely needed someone to show up ready to play ball tonight, because the offense certainly didn't. The lineup matched the meager performance of their Houston counterparts almost point for point, and the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona Roberto Hernandez came up just one out short of a complete-game loss. Really, the only difference was that the Angels clustered three hits (and sac fly) together in fifth inning. But props to David Freese, Erick Aybar, C.J. Cron, and Carlos Perez for making that happen, or else we'd still be watching baseball right now.

Weaver's fastball before tonight's game measured at 84.0 mph, 5.0 mph slower than his career average and 2.5 mph slower than last year. All his other pitches have been down by similar proportions. The game logs haven't refreshed yet, but my impression was that his repertoire had recovered quite a bit, perhaps looking more like it did last season. More importantly, he seemed to put the ball right where Perez wanted it just about every time. You don't have to throw hard to pitch well, but you do need to throw strikes, and if Weaver stays in command, he just might do all right this season.