Fun fact: Who has the best winning percentage of any pitcher in baseball over the past five seasons?
Here's a hint. It's not C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Johan Santana, Josh Beckett or any of the other pitchers the East Coast writing establishment loves to go on endlessly about.
It's Jered Weaver at .663.
Weaver has clearly taken his game to another level in the absence of former Angels ace John Lackey, and has managed to single-handedly carry his team through a horrific stretch in the process.
The one constant for the Angels in 2010 has been quality starts by Weaver—a stat that he leads all of MLB in with 14, along with fellow West Coast All-Star snub Felix Hernandez.
At a time when the rest of the Angels rotation and bullpen were ranked at the bottom of the league in every category, Weaver kept them afloat.
At a time when his team had the worst batting average in baseball and gave him one of the lowest run support totals in the league, Weaver managed to keep his team in games and win most of them.
Weaver should not only be in the conversation for the Cy Young, but the MVP as well.
- Leads both leagues in strikeouts with 124.
- Leads all starters in K's per nine innings with 10.27.
- Is second to only Cliff Lee in walk to strikeout ratio at 4.77.
- Has the third best WHIP in the league at 1.06.
- Has the sixth best ERA in the league at 2.82.
The opposition is hitting .217 against him. Only Jon Lester and Colby Lewis (yet another snubbed West Coast pitcher) were better.
It is hard to be any more consistent than giving up two or less runs in 12 of your 17 starts, as the 27-year-old has done this season.
If it weren't for Weaver, the Angels might very well be in the Seattle Mariners' shoes right now—sellers at the trade deadline, instead of just 3.5 games out of the AL West.
Weaver doesn't have a 100-mph, blow-you-away fastball. In fact, at times it is hard to see how he gets anyone out with a fastball that barely hits 90 mph.
The Simi Valley High School product simply knows how to pitch.
The game hasn't seen a pitcher this crafty since Greg Maddux. Weaver is living proof that changing speeds and having control in the zone are just as important as having good "stuff."
His ability to ring up batters through deception probably doesn't get him noticed as much as hurlers with electric pitches like Sabathia. However, it's his results that are electric and undeniable to anyone with an ounce of objectivity.
While most East Coast fans and writers are nestled in their beds or writing on deadline, Weaver will continue to take to the mound for his 10:05 EST starts and do his thing.
Hopefully, the outrage over Weaver's failure to make the All-Star squad will help these misguided souls to discover this new invention called TiVo.
If the East Coast writers manage to discover this world in time, and Weaver continues to demonstrate the consistency he has shown throughout his entire career—maybe, just maybe—Weaver can have his vindication at the end of the year in the form of a Cy Young Award.
Until then, the Angels, the team that had 100 wins last season.
The team that is the current three-time defending champions of the West.
The team that is hosting the Midsummer Classic, will have to settle for its hometown fans cheering for one player (Torii Hunter), as he takes to the field All-Star Weekend.
Enjoy your game, East Coast.
The West Coast fans are glad we could provide you with a neutral site on which to play it.
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