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Angels pitcher Jered Weaver draws another ace

August 11, 2010 | 12:00 pm

Back in spring training, Jered Weaver downplayed the significance of being a staff ace, saying the only time a matchup against another ace could be guaranteed is on opening day, and after that, he would face a variety of starters, from one through five in opposing rotations.

Well, that's hardly been the case. The Angels right-hander will square off Wednesday against Kansas City ace Zack Greinke, the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner, for the second time this season.

This will be Weaver's 25th start of 2010. Including today, Weaver will have opposed Seattle ace Felix Hernandez three times, Detroit ace Justin Verlander and Texas ace Cliff Lee twice, and aces David Price (Tampa Bay), Chris Carpenter (St. Louis), Jake Peavy (Chicago White Sox) and Trevor Cahill (Oakland) once. Weaver has also faced Texas No. 2 starter C.J. Wilson twice and Boston's John Lackey, the former Angels ace, once.

"It hasn't quite worked out that way this year, has it?" Weaver said, when reminded of his comments in spring training. "It seems I've been matched up against No. 1 guys quite a few times. But I have a few notches on my belt."

Indeed, Weaver has emerged as the Angels' clear-cut ace, with an 11-7 record, 2.96 earned run average and a major league-leading 171 strikeouts going into today's game. Facing so many top-flight pitchers seems to have brought out the best in Weaver.

"You know going into it that the other guy is going to give up a limited number of runs, so you know it's going to be a battle," Weaver said. "You have to limit the number of runs you give up, keep the team in the game as much as possible and see what happens."

-- Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Jered Weaver. Credit: Paul Buck / EPA