Weaver didn't have a huge strike zone, but he was getting the third-base side of the plate with some regularity. Look at that graph as if you were the catcher, and then look for the orange dots. For most of that game, Weaver was getting calls on outside pitches to left-handers.
Average speed: 89 m.p.h. We've been conditioned to freak about about velocity dips, such as with Tim Lincecum, but Weaver has been quietly losing velocity for a while. The difference is a) Weaver knows where the hell the ball is going, and b) he has always relied on the movement of his fastball more than raw power. Weaver's as good as ever.
Of the 121 pitches thrown, the Twins swung and missed at just 10 of them. Weaver threw 52 two-seamers; the Twins missed just one.
Weaver's velocity declined throughout the night, and he didn't crack 90 m.p.h. from about the sixth inning on ... until he threw he threw his second hardest pitch -- a 92-m.p.h. fastball -- on his third-to-last pitch of the night. Hellllllooooooo adrenaline!
Turns out Weaver was really, really good on Wednesday night. Really, really good. The best way to show the artistry of Weaver is with a simple graph that Dan Brooks tweeted out. Weaver is like two different pitchers when it comes to left-handers and right-handers, with a different set of pitches for each.
There are about 2,398 different things that I didn't touch on (or didn't understand!) on the page for Weaver's game, so check it out for yourself. I don't even remember what it was like to be a baseball fan in 1995.
As you've heard, Wednesday night, Angels ace Jered Weaver pitched a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins. He pitched a no-hitter at home in Anaheim, in front of family, presumably some friends, presumably some acquaintances, and a whole lot of other people. Weaver's family joined Jered on the field afterward and it made for a pretty stirring, emotional scene. It would be hard for someone to not have been touched, unless that someone is a Twins fan, in which case that someone is probably incapable of feeling feelings anymore.
One could choose to snark about the fact that Weaver threw his no-hitter in a pitcher-friendly environment, and that he threw it against the Twins. But then, the Twins came in with a barely-below-average team OPS+, and more importantly, there's no sense quibbling with statistics here. Jered Weaver threw a major-league no-hitter. That's amazing. It's amazing to no-hit anyone. Nobody no-hit the 2011 San Francisco Giants. Nobody no-hit the 2010 Seattle Mariners.
And Weaver's no-hitter wasn't even one of them ugly ones! He finished with nine strikeouts and one walk. Most impressively, of the 19 balls that Twins hitters put into play, zero of them were recorded as line drives. There was a bunt, there were four grounders, there were nine fly balls, and there were five pop-ups. True, the last ball hit by Alexi Casilla to right field might've been a line drive, but it did hang up. Probably the best contact any Twins hitter made came in the top of the eighth, when Trevor Plouffe pulled a deep liner to left just foul.
It all goes in the books as the Angels' tenth no-hitter, and as Weaver's first no-hitter. That gives Weaver more career no-hitters than, for example, Tim Lincecum and Felix Hernandez. But what's that over there? Is that an asterisk? It sure as hell is!
On June 28, 2008, Weaver started for the Angels against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Matt Kemp reached base on an error by Weaver, stole second, advanced to third on an error by the catcher, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Blake DeWitt. That gave the Dodgers a run. It would be the game's only run. The Dodgers finished without a hit. They won, 1-0, but they finished without a hit.
On June 28, 2008, Jered Weaver kept the Dodgers hitless for six innings. He gave way to Jose Arredondo, who kept the Dodgers hitless for two innings. That would be it, and Weaver would get pinned with the loss. Jered Weaver got the loss in a combined eight-inning no-hitter.
Obviously, it doesn't count the same. An eight-inning no-hitter isn't the same as a nine-inning no-hitter, and a combined no-hitter isn't the same as an individual no-hitter. But as we think about how incredible Weaver was on Wednesday night, we can also think about how incredible it was that Weaver lost in a combined no-hitter. That's got to be an awkward, bittersweet feeling. Wednesday night, there was none of the awkward or bitter. Maybe a little of the awkward, depending on how Weaver normally interacts with his family.
Wednesday night, Jered Weaver made no-hitter history for the second time in his career. For the first time, it went the way he wanted it to. Kudos to Jered Weaver on being even more outstanding than usual.
The no-hitter is the tenth in Angels history, including a combined no-hitter by Mark Langston and Mike Witt in 1990. Between 1973 and 1975, Nolan Ryan threw four no-hitters for the Angels. Just think about that for a second.
But this isn't about Ryan, this is about Jered Weaver, who got Alexi Casilla on a line drive to right field for the final out of the game. It might have been the hardest-hit pitch of the night, but it fell safely into Torii Hunter's glove to complete the no-hitter. Weaver threw 122 pitches on the night, striking out nine batters and walking one.
Weaver's parents were in attendance for the no-hitter, and they joined Weaver on the field after the game.
Weaver's got quite a cushion, as the Angels scored once in the first inning, twice in the second, and three times in both the third and fourth innings to grab the 9-0 lead they've still got.
Chris Parmelee opened the top of the eighth inning with a fly to center field. The next batter, Trevor Plouffe, yanked an 0-2 pitch into the stands down the left-field line, just 10 feet foul. Two pitches later, Plouffe lifted a foul pop to Albert Pujols. And Clint Thomas followed with a foul pop to third baseman Mark Trumbo, ending the inning.*
* If anyone knows why Mark Trumbo's still playing third base in this situation, his team ahead by nine runs and his pitcher working on a no-hitter, please contact the American WTF Association of America.
Weaver's thrown 111 pitches; with his career high 128 pitches, another inning seems well within his grasp.