Home runs ‘killing’ Jered Weaver …
Jered Weaver gave up two home runs in Monday’s 4-3 loss — a two-run shot to Asdrubal Cabrera in the first, a solo shot to Carlos Santana in the fourth — and has now given up 14 in 95 2/3 innings this season, giving him the second-highest total in the American League.
Last year, the Angels’ ace gave up 17 homers in 154 1/3 innings.
“It’s no secret, I just can’t stay away from the home-run ball,” said Weaver, now 7-6 with a 3.67 ERA. “It’s been killing me lately, and that was the difference in the game again tonight. I don’t think I’ve thrown the ball terribly, but when I’m making mistakes, they’re hitting home runs. It’s definitely frustrating.”
Weaver’s velocity has continually eroded over the last few years, and he entered Monday averaging a career-low 86.2 mph on his fastball. That could explain the higher home-run rate, or at the very least his shrinking margin for error, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia believes Weaver’s “stuff right now is batter than it was last year.”
So, why all the homers — particularly eight in his last seven starts?
“I don’t know,” Weaver said. “Wish I had an answer. When I have an answer, I’ll let you know.”
From 2006-13, Weaver’s homers-per-nine-innings rate was 0.96, tied for 45th in the Majors. This year, it’s 1.32.
“Just can’t stay away from the home-run ball,” Weaver said. “That contributes to losses. Nothing else to be said. I think my stuff is good. Take away the home-run balls [on Monday], it’s not a bad outing. But those home-run balls are not taken away, and that has led to us losing games.”