Yesterday’s game seemed pretty well at hand in the early goings, but the pitching slipped up after the fourth. They’ll look to rebound as a unit today and force a rubber game against a (what should be, considering their injuries) reeling Angels team. Andy Pettitte will seek some redemption on his own, as well. He pitched poorly last time out, and really needs to give the Yanks a solid start today.
The offense will have to do it against Jered Weaver, brother of forsaken former-Yank Jeff. The future of the Yankees could actually rest on Anaheim’s decision to select Jered with the 12th pick of the 2004 draft. Pre-draft word was that they had their eyes on a So-Cal high schooler named Phil Hughes. They opted for Weaver instead, and the Yankees took Hughes with the 23rd pick, one they received from the Houston Astros in compensation for, guess who, Andy Pettitte.
Weaver came up guns blazing in 2006, and actually took the rotation spot of his older brother, whom the Angels would eventually release. He had an over 3:1 K/BB ratio, and pitched to a 2.56 ERA over a few stints. He hasn’t been quite as good since, though given his solid peripherals his 4.33 ERA last year might have been a bit out of line (his FIP was 3.90).
This year Weaver has been by far the Angels’ best starter, though he’s had some trouble recently. The pinnacle of his season is his complete game shutout against San Diego on June 14. Since then he’s pitched 23.2 innings and allowed 19 runs. I always note recent trends for pitchers in the game threads, and after a half season of looking at it in hindsight, it appears to have no bearing on how he starts against the Yankees. So while Weaver has been getting slaughtered, it really means nothing insofar as today’s start is concerned.
Weaver throws a fastball that mostly sits high 80s and touches around 92 at times. That doesn’t sound like much, but he mixes it with a changeup that has about 10 mph separation. He’ll also drop a curve or a slider to mix things up, though not with as much frequency as the change.
And on the mound, number forty-six, Andy Pettitte.