11/18/10 5:12 PM EST
Weaver finishes fifth in AL Cy Young voting
MLB strikeout king emerges as ace in tough year for Halos
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
Emerging as an unquestioned, bona fide ace after the departure of mentor and good buddy John Lackey, Weaver excelled from April through September. His work was duly observed and rewarded by Baseball Writers' Association of America voters with his fifth-place finish in the balloting for the American League Cy Young Award, won by Seattle's Felix Hernandez.
Much like King Felix, Weaver pitched like royalty but was frustrated by inadequate run support. Weaver's 13-12 record was identical to that of Hernandez, who outpolled David Price of the Rays, CC Sabathia of the Yankees and Jon Lester of the Red Sox.
Weaver claimed one second-place vote and two thirds, along with six for fourth and two for fifth. He was named on 11 of 28 ballots.
AL Cy Young voting
|Felix Hernandez, Mariners||21||2||3||1||1||167|
|David Price, Rays||4||15||7||1||111|
|CC Sabathia, Yankees||3||10||12||2||1||102|
|Jon Lester, Red Sox||1||9||12||33|
|Jered Weaver, Angels||1||2||6||2||24|
|Clay Buchholz, Red Sox||2||5||4||20|
|Cliff Lee, Mariners/Rangers||1||1||1||6|
|Rafael Soriano, Rays||1||3||5|
|Trevor Cahill, Athletics||1||2||4|
|Joakim Soria, Royals||1||2|
|Francisco Liriano, Twins||1||1|
|Justin Verlander, Tigers||1||1|
Weaver led the Major Leagues in strikeouts and finished fifth in the American League in ERA. He tied for third in the AL in innings pitched, was the sixth-toughest pitcher in the league to hit and had the sixth-best WHIP (walks and hits per inning) in the game.
A first-time All-Star, Weaver did everything for the Angels an ace could be expected to do after inheriting that role from Lackey, who signed a free-agent deal with Boston. A slender right-hander from Simi Valley, Calif., who emerged as a dominant pitcher at Long Beach State, Weaver put all of his talents together as one of the premier starters in the game. You didn't want to face him in Angel Stadium: Weaver's 1.86 home ERA was the best in the league.
"Jered was terrific from start to finish," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The one thing a pitcher can't control is wins and losses. Everything else he could control, Jered controlled. With better offensive support, he could have challenged for the league lead in wins.
"He gave us consistency and pitched at a high level the entire season. He didn't weaken at all, even though he exceeded his career high in innings by a large number. He carried his stuff and his competitiveness throughout the season and kept us in the game almost every time out."
With 233 strikeouts in 224 1/3 innings, both career highs, Weaver averaged 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings, third in the AL. It was the highest season strikeout total by an Angels pitcher since Nolan Ryan notched 260 in 1978.
Weaver fashioned a 3.01 ERA and held hitters to a .222 batting average while putting together an impressive 1.07 WHIP.
In half of his 34 starts, the Halos produced three or fewer runs. Eleven times, they scored two or fewer. Ten times Weaver went at least seven innings and allowed no more than one run.
"I think overall I made some good strides this year," Weaver said. "I never even thought about leading the league in strikeouts; that was something that just happened. My goal coming into the season was to pitch 200 innings, and surpassing my career-best [211 in 2009] was very satisfying. It showed that I was able to have consistent command and get deeper in games than in the past.
"It was a disappointing season in a lot of respects. We all are frustrated that we didn't perform better as a team. From a personal standpoint, I was able to achieve some things, but this is a team game. And when your team doesn't win, it's hard to feel too good about things."
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.