The velocity of Jered Weaver's fastball is down, to 84-85 mph, and his earned run average is up, all the way to 5.83 after he allowed six runs and six hits, including two homers, in seven innings of a 6-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
But manager Mike Scioscia remains confident that the veteran right-hander, who is 0-3 and has opened the season with five winless starts for the first time in his career, will return to his usually reliable and effective self.
"I think if he was throwing the ball as well as he could and hitting spots and had everything going and was getting hit, we'd be a little more concerned," Scioscia said. "But you can still see the up side with Jered. This guy just knows his way through a game. He knows what he's doing. He will figure this out."
Weaver gave up five of his six runs in the first inning, when, with the bases loaded, he hung a first-pitch breaking ball to Josh Reddick, who lined a two-run single to right field, and grooved a first-pitch fastball to Brett Lawrie, who crushed a three-run homer to left.
Then Weaver retired 12 straight and 15 of 16 batters before Reddick hit a solo homer to right with two out in the sixth for a 6-2 Oakland lead.
"I didn't do anything different [after the first inning], to tell you the truth," Weaver said. "There was just one blow-up inning. They got a five-spot. And that was the game."
Scioscia said he was encouraged by Weaver's final six innings, in which he allowed just two hits.
"One thing about Jered, he's not going to quit out there," Scioscia said. "He kept pitching. He's shown that when his command is there and he's hitting spots, he's effective. A couple pitches got away from him in the first, and they were hit. ... After the first, he mixed and matched the way he can, but the damage was done."