Weaver no-hitter hit close to home
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Dave Weaver was in his usual seat, 20 rows behind home plate, drinking a beer and shouting instructions to his son in the quiet lulls between pitches. His wife, Gail, was alongside him, calmly enjoying a little night baseball.
It really could have been any night in three lives filled with similar evenings at ballparks all across Southern California.
Instead, Jered Weaver made an ordinary Wednesday at Angel Stadium unforgettable for the close-knit family that put him on that mound.
The Los Angeles Angels ace threw his first no-hitter in dazzling style, allowing just two base runners while beating the Minnesota Twins, 9-0, with a merciless array of pitches first taught to him by his father. After Weaver celebrated with his teammates, his parents and wife joined him on the field, gathering for a group hug he’ll remember as vibrantly as his near-perfection.
“It was an unbelievable experience to be able to have them come down on the field and share some tears,’’ Weaver said. “It’s special for my dad to be here. It’s been a long road, and he’s been here all the way.’’
Dave Weaver raised two major league pitchers on the other end of the Los Angeles metroplex, passing his love for baseball to Jeff and Jered through years of coaching and support. He attends nearly every home game Jered pitches, and only Jeff’s World Series victory in 2006 was more memorable than Jered’s overpowering no-hitter.
“It’s just a dream come true for him,’’ Dave Weaver said. “He was so excited and jubilant. He’s been close so many times, but to get this win at this point in their season is tremendous.’’
On the same day the Dodgers introduced their new ownership group, Weaver shoved them off the front pages in Los Angeles with his first no-hitter - the Angels’ 10th, and their second in less than a year.
Weaver struck out nine and lowered his ERA to 1.61.
Weaver had no perfect-game pressure after Iannetta allowed a passed ball on a strikeout of Chris Parmelee in the second inning. Weaver also walked Josh Willingham on a full-count pitch with two outs in the seventh.
When Alexi Casilla’s final fly settled in Torii Hunter’s glove at the right-field warning track, Weaver raised his hands to his head while Iannetta started the celebration of a pitcher who passed on free agent riches last season for a long-term deal with his only major league organization.
“To have it happen at home, where I decided to stay, and have these fans cheer me on, to go out there in the ninth was pretty electric,’’ Weaver said.