What Jered Weaver screamed after escaping a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the top of the eighth inning Monday night can’t be printed here, but the Angels ace wasn’t about to apologize for the celebratory obscenities that accompanied his violent fist pumps.
The right-hander struck out Brett Gardner and got Derek Jeter to ground into an inning-ending double play to preserve a 1-1 tie, and the Angels drew three bases-loaded walks in the bottom of the eighth for a 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees at Angel Stadium.
“I showed a little emotion there, obviously, getting out of a big jam,” Weaver said. “It was a tough spot to be in, definitely, with the top of their lineup coming up. I tried to calm myself down as much as possible and got a big strikeout of Gardner. The next pitch, we were able to turn two. I was pretty hyped.”
Weaver (3-2) seemed to release some built-up tension and frustration from what has been a choppy start to the season. He struggled with his command in his first three starts, he thought Manager Mike Scioscia pulled him too early from two games, and he was still trying to regain strength in a balky shoulder that has bothered him for “about seven years,” as he joked Monday night.
But in his last four starts, Weaver has allowed only five earned runs in 25 1/3 innings, striking out 18 and walking six to lower his earned run average from 5.79 to 3.48. His shoulder is feeling so good he began lifting weights last week for the first time in about seven months.
Weaver said Monday night “was the strongest I’ve felt this year, for sure.” His stuff was “the best we’ve seen all year,” Scioscia said, pointing to the 88-mph fastball Weaver blew by Gardner for the strikeout in the eighth. It was Weaver’s 102ndpitch of the game.
“That last fastball had a lot of life,” Scioscia said. “He definitely had enough to get out of that eighth inning.”
Weaver appreciated the support.
“I think I showed Sosh that I wasn’t losing anything out there,” Weaver said. “I think that in starts before, he could tell I was getting a little tired. My mentality is to stay out there as long as possible, but he’s the manager, and he makes the moves.
“It’s been frustrating. I’m a guy who likes to throw 100, 115 pitches, and I haven’t been able to do that. It was nice to be able to prove to him that I was still feeling fresh, feeling strong. It was nice of him to show that confidence in me to be able to get out of that jam.”