CLEVELAND -- He's a long shot to get the nod, given his pedestrian and highly deceiving 11-11 record, but Jered Weaver took legitimate Cy Young Award numbers to the mound against the Indians on Wednesday night at Progressive Field.
Among pitchers who have thrown at least one inning for every game their team has played, the Angels' ace is high on the leaderboard in almost every significant category. A model of consistency, Weaver has yielded four or more runs only six times in his 30 starts, and with the 2009 Angels offense behind him, he'd have an excellent shot at 20 wins, rather than an outside shot at 15.
His 3.06 ERA entering Wednesday was sixth-best in the American League. His 1.09 WHIP (walks + hits / innings pitched) left him tied for third with Felix Hernandez, behind Cliff Lee's 1.01 and Trevor Cahill's 1.05. Weaver's .269 on-base percentage yielded is second to Lee's .256.
Second to Hernandez in strikeouts with 211, Weaver is fourth in innings pitched at 197. His 9.64 strikeouts per nine innings are third, surpassed only by Brandon Morrow's 10.95 and Jon Lester's 9.85. With a 4.14 ratio of strikeouts to walks, the righty is second only to Lee's amazing 11.07.
"I think Weav is throwing the ball better right now than any time since he's been in the big leagues -- including his first year in the big leagues, when he won nine straight," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's putting pitches together better and executing pitches better.
"As a pitcher in the Major Leagues, you can't control wins and losses. It takes a team to get a win -- the offensive side, defensive side. With your ability to get deep in games, it'll give you a fertile environment for wins. It's worked for Ervin [Santana, with 16 victories] but not for Jered Weaver -- and Dan Haren, too."