The last time Jered Weaver faced the Twins, he no-hit them in a 9-0 victory for the Los Angeles Angels. There wasn't any no-hitter intrigue in this game, but Weaver still held the Twins to only 2 hits and a 1st inning RBI single by Albert Pujols was all he needed as the Twins lost 1-0 to the Angels on Wednesday afternoon.
Doug Bernier ended any no-hitter thoughts with a single to center field in the first inning, but after that it was clear that the Twins would accomplish nothing with Weaver on the mound. Following Bernier's single, the Twins would not get another runner on base until Ryan Doumit's 2-out walk in the 7th inning, as it was clear that Weaver was on today.
The lone run of the game came early off Twins starter Mike Pelfrey. Leadoff hitter J.B. Shuck hit a single, and then stole second base as Mike Trout struck out. This brought up Albert Pujols, who grounded a single to center field that brought Shuck home and gave the Angels all they needed.
It really was a shame for Pelfrey as he continued his recent string of solid outings. After today's game, Pelfrey has now thrown 23 2/3 innings with a 2.28 ERA in his last 4 starts, and barring any changes his next start will occur on July 30th, just one day before the non-waiver trade deadline.
The Twins finally got their offense going in the 9th inning, but their progress was halted by a questionable call by the umpiring crew. Last night in a tie ballgame, the Twins were able to tag Angels closer Ernesto Frieri with 5 runs, with four of them coming off a grand slam home run from Chris Herrmann. Today, Frieri still looked shaky as he walked leadoff hitter Clete Thomas. Next up was Doug Bernier, who obviously had only one thing on his mind and that was to bunt Thomas to second base. However, Bernier fouled the first two pitches down the 1st base line, and the count was quickly 0-2. With no intentions of bunting on the third pitch, Bernier was instead hit by Frieri, culminating perhaps the worst plate appearance I've seen since this one.
With runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs, it started to appear that the Twins actually had a shot of taking the lead. However, the next hitter was Justin Morneau and on the first pitch, he was jammed on an inside fastball and hit a short pop-up back to the mound. Frieri took a few steps off the mound and smartly let the ball drop to the ground before picking it up and throwing to 1st to retire Morneau. With the runners on base having nowhere to go, first baseman Mark Trumbo threw to 2nd and got Bernier in a rundown before he was tagged out to complete the double play.
But what made this play frustrating is that to every Twins fan with knowledge of the infield fly rule knew that this should have been invoked. While confusing that the infield fly rule guarantees an out to the defense, this rule exists to prevent the exact play the Angels just completed. Ron Gardenhire came out to argue the play but remained calm and apparently the umpires had a satisfactory explanation as he was not ejected, but it sincerely felt like the umpires botched the call on the play.
Regardless, Frieri continued his wildness by walking Ryan Doumit. This brought up Chris Herrmann with runners on 1st and 3rd and 2 outs to face Frieri less than 24 hours later than his grand slam on Tuesday night, but there would be no late game heroics again from Herrmann. With the count quickly reaching 0-2, Frieri put away Herrmann swinging with a high fastball to secure the game for the Angels.
For a little more info on the mind-boggling infield fly non-call, you can read this from Hardball Talk.
WP: Jered Weaver (5-5)
LP: Mike Pelfrey (4-8)
S: Ernesto Frieri (25)
Mike Pelfrey (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K)
The whole offense.
Player of the Game
Jered Weaver (8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K)