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Angels scratch Santana, Weaver from final starts

September 27, 2011 |  6:07 pm

With the Angels eliminated from playoff contention Monday night, Manager Mike Scioscia pulled pitchers Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver from their final two scheduled starts. Tyler Chatwood will pitch Tuesday night against the Rangers, and Garrett Richards will start Wednesday night’s season finale.

Santana (11-12, 3.38 earned-run average) and Weaver (18-8, 2.41 ERA) have already surpassed their career highs for innings pitched.

The move will cost Weaver a chance to win the AL ERA title. The right-hander needed to record two outs without giving up an earned run to pass Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who has a 2.39 ERA and made his final regular-season start Saturday.

“Obviously, there’s a little something out there, but I’m not into the individual numbers; it’s a team game,” Weaver said. “The only way I would have gone back out there is if I was sitting on 19 [wins] and going for 20.”

Scioscia was not aware that Weaver was that close to the ERA title, but even if he was, he would not have sent Weaver, who has thrown 235 2/3 innings this season, to the mound for another start with the Angels out of contention.

The games do mean something to the Rangers, who are battling the Tigers for home-field advantage in the division series, but Scioscia dismissed a suggestion that he might not be honoring the integrity of the playoff races by pulling two top pitchers.

“We have to look out for these guys moving forward,” Scioscia said. “We’re going to try to win. There are plenty of times during a season where a guy misses a start or is pushed back for a variety of reasons. This is one of those times.

“Jered and Ervin have thrown a lot of innings and pitched extremely well … but right now they’re really on fumes and need to take a back seat.”


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-- Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana. Credit: Mike Cassese / Reuters