After seeing an eight-game winning streak erased in the first two games of the Freeway Series, the Angels send Jered Weaver to the mound tonight at the Big A against the Dodgers in Game 3 of the four-game matchup.
Weaver has been out since April 7 when he fractured his left elbow falling off the mound awkwardly against the Rangers in Arlington. Now the right-handed ace comes back to try and put his team on the winning track after losing the first two games of the series with the Dodgers.
The Angels lost their second in a row Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium as lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu tossed a two-hit shutout for the Dodgers, another left-hander who’s confounded the Halo bats in 2013.
Weaver (0-1) knows it’s important for him to have a good outing and put the Angels back in the win column.
“I’m ready. Have been for a while,” said Weaver, who described his mood as “antsy.”
“It’s absolutely time for me to get back out there, and hopefully get us a win.”
Weaver had a dominant rehab assignment and has looked good working privately with pitching coach Mike Butcher, giving manager Mike Scioscia confidence that his ace is returning at the perfect time.
“Anytime you get a pitcher the caliber of Weave back in your rotation, it’s the right time,” Scioscia said Tuesday. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the game and for him to come back after these last two games is great.
“We expect him to pitch his typical game. We’ll just have to see how far he can go.”
The Angels are expected to keep Weaver to between 75-80 pitches.
Catcher Chris Iannetta is excited to see Weaver back, giving the team a weapon most other clubs don’t have.
“When you get the ace of your staff back, and he’s healthy and ready to go, it’s definitely a boost,” Iannetta said. “It really is.”
“While we’ve been without him we’ve tried to weather the storm, and with the eight wins in a row have turned the corner a little bit — even though the last two games weren’t great. Now we have him back on the mound and that will help stabilize everything for us, knowing that we are going to have one of the best pitchers in the game back in the rotation every five days.”