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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Jeff Weaver Saves His Career: Angels 8, Rangers 5

Jeff Weaver was mad, said Mike Scioscia; after giving up yet another home run, this one to Brad Wilkerson, he asked himself, "What have I been doing, just letting people beat me up," he said. "I just got angry."

About time. After that, he gave up a grand total of four baserunners, and none of them got past second base. It was, without a doubt, perhaps the performance of his career, one that looked like it was circling the drain. Weaver's 2005 with the Dodgers was generally below par; the opening of his 2006 Angels campaign made him look like his 2007 would be spent with a some pitching-starved cellar-dweller for much closer to league minimum than his current salary.

Dallas McPherson's homer — his second in four games — and a solid single put a little bit of the lie to a piece of reading recommended by the Chronicler, an analysis by Bjoern that claims the Angels offensive trouble "isn’t so much a problem of bad luck or underperformance but of player quality." I'm inclined to agree broadly, but so far as McPherson is concerned, it strikes me as an inevitability that he will cease striking out quite so much; either that or he goes down to the minors again. Today's game represents a positive trend.

K-Rod will give up an occaisional home run; he did so today, and his ERA rose to 4.19. Fortunately, it didn't matter. It's a good time to pause and consider how well everything has worked; the game on Monday was nearly a win, and it felt worse than it was because of the way the game was lost. The fact remains that the Angels finally took a series, and that it was off the division leaders was a very good sign. The worst is far from over, but hopefully this represents the end of the beginning.

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