Weaver wanted the ball in the ninth

Seriously, would you expect anything less from an ace pitcher?

Jered Weaver rolled through his 2012 debut, hurling eight shutout innings, striking out 10, walking none and scattering four hits.If the Angels hadn’t scored five runs in what was a very long bottom of the eighth, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he would’ve trotted Weaver — with 97 pitches under his belt — out for the ninth on a “short leash.” Then the Angels offense came to life. And then Scioscia turned to Scott Downs, who turned in a 1-2-3 ninth.

But make no mistake: Weaver wanted that complete-game shutout.

“I guess it’s just the competitive side of me,” Weaver said. “I don’t ever want to give the ball up. I want to go out there and pitch until the wheels fall off. But obviously, the guys put up five runs there and Scioscia put the kibosh on it. It’s all good. We got some guys down there in the bullpen that can do a great job. It’s just my competitive nature. I never want to come out of the game. But it was very understandable. Let’s see what happens next time.”

Weaver tied his career high with four complete games last season, which was tied for seventh in the Majors. But there was no reason for him to pitch the ninth on Friday. Not with a five-run cushion, and not with this being his first start of the season.

“He wanted to, but he understands what our feelings are and our thought process,” Scioscia said. “We want him to pitch deep enough into a game to give us a chance to win, and we need him to pitch deep into the game. And there was a point where there might have been some merit to giving him that extra 10, 12 pitches in a tied game because we would’ve needed it. But I think once we got to a certain point, it just didn’t make sense to have him get stretched just to go for a shutout.”


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