Weavers will square off when Angels face Dodgers
Saturday, June 20, 2009
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bumped out of the majors by his younger brother a few years ago, Jeff Weaver hardly imagined it would come to this -- a chance they'd share the mound, on opposite teams.
The duel between Jeff and Jered Weaver in tonight's game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels will mark their first matchup, and the 21st time in big league history that siblings have started against each other.
"We've talked about it for a long time," Jeff after the Dodgers played Oakland on Thursday night. "Baseball works in weird ways. To be in a relief/starting role, and for it to line up in this particular fashion, it seems like it's kind of meant to be. So we're going to have fun with it, see what happens, and hopefully we'll both come out of there feeling good about what we've done."
The brothers grew up in Simi Valley, about 30 miles northeast of Angels Stadium, and plenty of friends figure to be in attendance. The evening, however, may not be so festive for their parents.
Gail and Dave Weaver are skipping out on a family wedding to watch their two sons face each other.
So who will they be cheering for? Who knows? Gail and Dave Weaver declined to be interviewed.
"I won't know until I see them afterwards," Jeff said. "But I think once they get there and situated, it'll be something special for them to be able to be there. I don't know how my dad's going to handle it, because he always said he'd rather just stay home and watch it. But he's going to be there. Maybe he'll have to rotate hats along the way."
Alan Benes and Andy Benes were the last brothers to pitch against each other in 2002.
Some past notable matchups include:
* Four-time Cy Young award winner Greg Maddux facing brother Mike in 1986 and 1988.
* Gaylord Perry, a two-time Cy Young award winner, losing to Jim Perry and his Detroit Tigers in 1973.
* Hall of Famer Phil Niekro and Joe Niekro hold the brother record with 539 combined victories. They started against each other many times, and Joe once homered off Phil.
Jeff Weaver, a walk-on from Fresno State, was in the Angels' starting rotation when he was sent to the minors by manager Mike Scioscia in June 2006, a move that cleared a roster spot for Jered.
Jered, who was drafted by the Angels in 2004 out of Long Beach State, came up from Class AAA and went 11-2 as a rookie that year.
This season, the 26-year-old Jered is 7-2 with a 2.08 ERA for the defending AL West champion Angels.
The 32-year-old Jeff is 3-1 with a 3.72 ERA for the NL West-leading Dodgers. He wound up with a World Series ring with St. Louis in 2006, pitching eight masterful innings to clinch the title in Game 5 against Detroit.
After stints with Seattle -- he struggled with a 7-13 record and 6.20 ERA -- and a yearlong hiatus in the minors, he signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers in February.
He was expected to compete for a bullpen spot, but has made three starts this season. Today, he will be filling in for an injured Eric Milton.
"After what I've gone through over the past year or so, getting that first start back at Dodger Stadium was pretty special in itself. But to be able to do something like this in the same year, when you didn't know if it was ever going to come to fruition, it's pretty cool," he said.