It was Turn Back the Clock night at the Big A on Friday, which meant the Angels got to wear their fantastic old uniforms from the eighties. More importantly, it meant that Jered Weaver also turned back the clock and looked like prime Weaver for the first time in quite a while.
Those who don’t have their heads in the sand have realized that Weaver is in clear decline this year, but this start of his was a real throwback performance. It also broke a streak of iffy performances him as well. For the first time in seven starts, Weaver was actually able to complete seven innings. It was also the first time since May 21st that he allowed three hits or fewer. He’s still not striking many people out, but Oakland batters were off balance against him all game. Somebody in the rotation needs to step up with Richards out and thus far Weaver seems to be ready to do that.
Run Expectancy Rundown
Not only did Chris Iannetta provide most of the offense, but he managed to break Coco Crisp in the process. That replay only looked more painful with each additional showing. It was nice seeing Albert Pujols go deep, he actually hadn’t even had an extra-base hit in his previous 11 games. It was even nicer to see him get all butthurt when Josh Reddick tried to throw him out at first from right field.
Despite the A’s not actually scoring a run, Derek Norris produced almost a full run worth of expectancy. After getting punked a bit by the light hitters in the Oakland lineup last week, Weaver was mercifully able to keep the Callaspos and Sogards of the A’s in check this time.
Starting Pitcher Scores
Once again, Jered Weaver displayed his mastery over the A’s bats, only this time he didn’t fall apart in the sixth inning. He came close in the sixth inning, but close doesn’t count.
Jon Lester came within a few of Crisp’s bruised ribs from shutting down the Angels lineup, but the Halos made the most of the few opportunities that he gave them.
Joe Smith and Huston Street did their usual strong work, but it did mean Street worked for the third day in a row and in a low leverage situation, no less. That could really bit them the next two games, but I understand Scioscia not wanting to take any chances. Plus there is the complication of not wanting to use Grilli, Salas or Morin since they are probably going to be a big part of the “bullpen day” start the Angels are going with on Saturday.
The Oakland bullpen made just one bad pitch, which Pujols deposited in the left field bleachers.
There were only three plate appearances in this game where the Angels didn’t have the win expectancy in their favor. Even in those three, it never got lower than 45%. As tight as this game was at first, Oakland just never really got anything going against Weaver.
Iannetta hadn’t homered since May 25th, but his timing for this one was impeccable.