Jered Weaver had already left the ballpark as the Angels’ bullpen was busy ruining his handiwork. He won’t have that luxury of leaving early next week.
In most other ways Tuesday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a 7-1 Angels loss at Salt River Fields, had to feel like a regular-season game for Weaver. The Angels’ Opening Day starter allowed two hits, no runs, walked one and struck out three in his final start of spring training. Weaver needed only 87 pitches to get through seven innings.
“It was nice to get under the lights and go out the way you would in the regular season,” Weaver said. “I always try to treat the last game of spring training like a regular season game.”
That he did, against a Diamondbacks lineup that featured at least seven of eight Opening Day position players. (Though it should be noted that three — Jason Kubel, Willie Bloomquist and Aaron Hill, who was hit in the pinkie finger by a Weaver pitch — left with injuries).
When he left after seven innings, Weaver entrusted the game into the right hand of David Carpenter, who promptly got A.J. Pollock to fly out, surrendered a home run to Eric Chavez, and saw Cliff Pennington knock him out of the game with a double.
Enter left-hander Mitch Stetter, who could be vying for the final bullpen spot against Carpenter. Stetter picked Pennington off second base and walked Gerardo Parra.
Enter right-hander Robert Coello, who will begin the season in the minors and showed why by allowing a walk, double, single, home run and a fly ball to end the inning. Final score, 7-1.
We don’t know what this means for Carpenter and Stetter, but we do know it means absolutely nothing for Weaver.
When spring training began early because of the World Baseball Classic, he and the Angels’ other starters waited a week to make their first start. In hindsight, that seems like the right call.
“I think Butch [pitching coach Mike Butcher] and Sosh [manager Mike Scioscia] did a good job lining us up the way we needed to, get the innings we needed to,” Weaver said.
The box score is here.