"It's definitely frustrating," a terse Weaver said. "My M.O. is to try to keep us in it, and I wasn't able to do that tonight."
Weaver is 0-3 with a 5.83 ERA, and winless through his first five starts for the first time ever. He combined to give up just three runs in 12 innings in his last two starts against the Astros and A's, showing signs that he may be rounding into form.
Then, Weaver gave up five runs in the first inning of the series opener at the Coliseum, turning a two-run lead into a five-run deficit. He allowed back-to-back singles to Marcus Semien and Stephen Vogt, plunked Billy Butler, yielded a two-out, two-run single to Josh Reddick and served up a three-run homer to Brett Lawrie, on a first-pitch, chest-high, 84-mph fastball.
"The inning blew up on me," Weaver said. "I was able to settle in after that, but it was too late."
Weaver retired the next 12 batters, completed six innings with only 86 pitches, pitched into the seventh for the first time this season and made only one more mistake the rest of the night, resulting in Reddick's sixth-inning solo homer.
But the Angels are still waiting for their ace to completely round into form.
"If he was throwing the ball as well as he could and hitting spots and had everything going, and was getting hit, we'd be a little more concerned," manager Mike Scioscia said. "But you can still see the upside with Jered. This guy just knows his way through a game. He knows what he's doing. He will figure this out."
But Weaver's velocity continues to dip, an unavoidable topic considering how much more precise it forces him to be. He went from an average fastball velocity of 86.8 mph in 2014 to 84.3 mph in his first four starts of 2015. On Tuesday, only three of Weaver's 98 pitches were thrown 85 mph or higher, according to Pitch Fx.
"His stuff is not that far away from when he won 20 games," Scioscia said of Weaver, who got to 20 wins in 2012 and led the American League with 18 wins last season.
"At times, you'll see the ball come out like you expect with Jered, but right now, he's trying to find a release point and a mechanical solution that will let him be in sync to where his complicated delivery adds deception but gets him that crisp fastball. Right now, it's something he's searching for, and he's really not that far away. His stuff is still going to play, and in a big way."