A season that started with high hopes after making two of the biggest moves in free agency will end without a playoff appearance for the Los Angeles Angels.
Jered Weaver though, has still had a season to remember.
Weaver looks to become the AL’s only 21-game winner Wednesday when the Angels wrap up the 2012 campaign against the host Seattle Mariners.
Weaver (20-4, 2.73 ERA) has been dominant down the stretch, winning his last four starts behind a 1.98 ERA. That late surge could put him in the conversation to become the third Angels hurler to win the AL Cy Young Award, joining Bartolo Colon (2005) and Dean Chance (1964).
The right-hander went 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA last year but finished second to Detroit’s Justin Verlander
With a win in the season finale, Weaver would tie Washington’s Gio Gonzalez for the major league lead, but he has lost both of his starts against the last-place Mariners this year. Rookie catcher Jesus Montero has four homers among five hits in nine at-bats against Weaver.
They were 6-14 before calling up Mike Trout who is a lock for AL rookie of the year honors and a strong contender for AL MVP. The 21-year-old Trout is one stolen base shy of joining Eric Davis (1987) and Barry Bonds (1990) as the only players with 30 homers and 50 steals in a season.
“We had a lot of positive things happen, we had a fair number of negative things happen,” general manager Jerry Dipoto told the Angels’ official website. “Now we have to pick up, we have to reset and build for 2013.”
Seattle (74-87) will finish at the bottom of the AL West for the third straight year, but has seen its win total increase each season.
Kyle Seager became the first Mariner with 20 homers since 2009 when he went deep in the first inning of Tuesday’s 6-1 win.
“It’s a nice personal accomplishment,” said Seager, who’s 0 for 8 against Weaver. “I don’t really consider myself a home run hitter.”
Blake Beavan (10-11, 4.68) looks to avoid his fourth loss in five starts for Seattle. The right-hander allowed four runs and five hits - two homers - in 4 2-3 innings of a 8-2 loss at Oakland on Friday.
Beavan is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts versus Los Angeles this year.
Pujols has gone 3 for 6 with a homer against him this year while Mark Trumbo is 3 for 6 with two homers. Trout, second in the AL to Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera with a .324 average, is 0 for 8 lifetime against Beavan.
This will be the final game with Safeco Field’s current dimensions. Weaver has never found the ballpark to be too comfortable, going 5-5 with a 4.40 ERA in 12 career starts there, but the Mariners announced Tuesday they will move in the fences at the pitcher-friendly park for the 2013 season.
“It’s all about just the ballpark playing fair and I think they’ve done a great job with the changes they are planning on making. I just think it’s a win-win situation,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “I think it’s fantastic for our younger position players, it’s a more attractive location now for players outside the organization who might consider coming this direction, so I think it’s a good decision.”