Weaver still ‘pumped up' day after no-hitter
ANAHEIM – Ultimately, Jered Weaver's no-hitter led to disappointment – a potential appearance on David Letterman's show didn't materialize.
"Yeah, it fell through," Weaver said of the possibility of reading a "Top 10" list on the show as Phillip Humber did after his perfect game earlier this season. The CBS show made overtures through Major League Baseball on Thursday but production issues made it unworkable.
"That would have been fun to do. I'm a big fan. I watch him every night," Weaver said.
Weaver probably missed Letterman on Wednesday night. He said he was up until 3:30 a.m., celebrating with friends and trying to come down from the "surreal" high of pitching a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins.
"I'm still a little pumped up," he said Thursday afternoon. "I wish I could go out there and pitch again tonight, but my arm wouldn't let me do that, that's for sure."
Though the Letterman appearance didn't happen, Weaver's jersey, catcher Chris Iannetta's jersey and a ball from the game were sent to baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown – "a" ball, not "the" ball. Weaver said he kept the lineup card and the actual ball that Torii Hunter caught for the last out as his own souvenirs.
"I couldn't believe it," Weaver said of his immediate reaction when Hunter caught Alexi Casilla's fly ball for the last out. "I never thought in a million years I'd first of all be in the major leagues pitching and to throw a no-hitter in big leagues – it was very surreal.
"Running out, I remember hitting that top step (of the dugout) for the ninth inning. The butterflies were definitely churning. It never really kicked in until the ninth inning. When I got that first out in the ninth, it really set in that this could happen."
Weaver's no-hitter was part of a dominant series by Angels pitchers. The Twins managed to score in just one of the 27 innings the two teams played.
Jerome Williams' three-hit shutout on Tuesday and Weaver's no-hitter were the first back-to-back complete-game shutouts by Angels pitchers since Bert Blyleven and Kirk McCaskill on Aug. 2-3, 1989.
The three-hit total matched the lowest for a two-game span in Angels history (each of the three times including a no-hitter). Weaver and Williams each faced just 29 batters (two over the minimum) in their games.
It made a tough act for Thursday's starter Dan Haren to follow.
"We were actually talking about that a little today," Weaver said with a chuckle. "I think it's time for him to throw a perfect game. That's the only way it can work out."
It didn't work out that way. But Weaver will have his own challenge in his next start – against the same Twins in Minnesota on Monday.
"It's my biggest pet peeve about being a pitcher," Weaver said. "It's tough. Obviously when you face the same team twice, you have to pitch a little different, but you have to pitch to your strengths as well and the opposing team will know that.
"You try to switch stuff up but, at the same time, you obviously want to throw strikes and locate. That's the biggest thing."
Weaver said he got a lot of text messages – "116 to be exact," he said – from friends and former teammates after his no-hitter. Among those sending along his congratulations was former teammate Jeff Mathis who was behind the plate for most of Weaver's best moments before this season.
In town with the Blue Jays for the first time this weekend, Mathis said the team got to the hotel just as the eighth inning of Wednesday's game ended and he watched Weaver finish things off in the ninth at the hotel bar.
"I was super-happy for him," Mathis said. "I was so glad to see him get it done."
Having caught Weaver so many times over the years, Mathis couldn't help but call the pitches along with Iannetta on the TV screen.
"No doubt, you're watching and you kind of have a feeling what he's going to do," Mathis said. "When he threw that comebacker to (Denard) Span to strike him out (for the second out in the ninth), I kind of had a feeling that was coming. But it sounded like he and Chris were on the same page all night."
Valued for his defense but maligned for his lack of offense, Mathis said it felt "strange" coming back to Anaheim for the first time since being traded to the Blue Jays last winter.
In a backup role to the Jays' young catcher, J.P. Arencibia, Mathis has played just seven games this season, but he is hitting .294 with two home runs and five RBIs. Mathis has credited some changes in his stance suggested by Jays hitting coach Dwayne Murphy – a more open stance and hands held higher – with helping him get off to a good start.
"From Day One, they told me what the situation was," Mathis said of the limited role. "I'm just trying to take advantage of the opportunities when I get it.
"I'm happy with the way I've played. I'm just trying to stay consistent with it when I get in there and keep working in between starts."
Angels right-hander Ervin Santana (0-5, 5.58) is scheduled to start against Blue Jays right-hander Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 3.62). Game time is 7:05 p.m. and it will be broadcast on FSW, KLAA/830 AM and KWKW/1330 AM in Spanish.