I don't really want to write about what happened at the end of last night's game, since it was fairly predictable. What was somewhat unpredictable was Mike Scioscia's hook, pulling Jered Weaver after seven innings and fewer than 100 pitches. He survived a dangerous sixth inning, but breezed through the fourth, fifth, and seventh, and appeared to be pitching well. Maybe Weaver told Scioscia he was done.
Regardless, that's just a lead in to something I haven't looked at in a while. The sentiment has been expressed by some members of the Halosphere (not to mention any names......rob) that Jered Weaver is simply a younger version of Jeff Weaver, and that his solid young career is simply a carbon copy of Jeff Weaver's solid young career, which eventually turned to crap. So let's see where Jered sits in comparison to Jeff at this point.
Some disclaimers: Jeff Weaver was 22 years, 135 days old when he made his first major league start. He also played on a crappy team, which undoubtedly affected his W-L record. Jered Weaver was 23 years, 235 days old when made his debut, and played on a much better team. Let's look at the numbers through 84 career starts:
Jered: 38-20, 508.1 IP, 3.59 ERA, 480 H, 142 BB, 1.22 WHIP*, 407 K, 59 HR, 1 CG.
Jeff: 30-37, 526 IP, 4.57 ERA, 538 H, 164 BB, 1.33 WHIP*, 357 K, 67 HR, 6 CG.
*WHIP typically doesn't inlcude HBP, and I didn't include it here, but Jeff had hit 38 batters to that point against Jered's 12.
Jeff has a clear advantage in complete games. Jered has sizable advantages almost everywhere else. He's been a run per game better. Both in the aggregate and per inning he's allowed fewer baserunners, struck out more, walked fewer, and allowed fewer homers. Jered has outpitched Jeff in every category through this point in their careers, significantly so.
I know what you're going to say. Jered started like a ball of fire and since then, he's been good, but not terrific. His numbers are skewed by that great start. Fair enough. Through his first seven starts, Jered was 7-0 with a 1.15 ERA, a 0.79 WHIP, had struck out 40 in 47 IP, and allowed only two homers. So let's compare Jered, minus those first seven starts, against Jeff's numbers above.
Jered minus first seven starts: 3.84 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 7.16 K/9, 1.11 HR/9
Jeff from numbers above: 4.57 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 6.11 K/9, 1.15 HR/9
Even if we ignore the best stretch of Jered's career, he's still outpitching Jeff in every important category by a significant margin through a similar career point. It's really no contest.
And the coup de grace? Jered is pitching better at this point than at any other point in his career, save for his first 10 starts. He's shouldering the load with Joe Saunders, and he's risen to the occasion. We'll be following this periodically, but I'd say that 84 starts are a pretty fair sample, and the verdict to this point is clear.