04/20/2010 3:26 PM ET
Jered Weaver: Don't call me 'ace'
Angels right-hander views himself as just another part of team
I cringe when I hear the term "ace" applied to me. I don't try to get caught up in all that talk. I don't like to hear my name mentioned like that.
Instead, I look at myself as part of this team, and I'm a part of this rotation. I just happened to get the ball on Opening Day this year, but I'm going to pitch whether I'm the No. 1 guy or the No. 4 guy. It's really about how our rotation works as a whole.
When you do get the ball in a big game like Opening Day, you often match up against one of that club's top pitchers, but I don't approach those matchups any differently. I don't change my game at all because I'm not facing the pitcher; I'm facing their lineup. My goal is to keep us in that game. When we do that, we can come out on top.
My start to this season feels similar to last year. I feel good. I feel healthy. It's always a learning process, though, and I'm always trying to figure out how to reach my highest level of performance.
It's never just about yourself as a pitcher. As a pitcher, you have to give credit to your catchers throwing down the right fingers. You can't win without the other guys doing their jobs, too.
As a pitcher you also like to have good support from your batters. This past winter, everybody wanted to know how we were going to respond when we lost Vladdy Guerrero. It seems, though, like we always pick up the right guy to come in and fill the hole.
This year, it's Hideki Matsui. He seems to come up with guys on base and two outs, yet still he comes up with that big knock. He has done that over and over again throughout the years, and for me it is nice to see him in Angels red and not in Yankees pinstripes. We know all too well what he's all about -- he's clutch.
So, pitching is just part of what makes a successful team. Pitching, hitting and defense have to come together for a team to reach the ultimate goal, which is to make the playoffs and win the World Series. That's what we're all shooting for, and we'll do everything we can to make it happen.
Jered Weaver took the ball for the Angels on Opening Day and in three starts this season -- all Angels victories -- the 27-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA and 21 strikeouts, while walking just three, in 19 innings. Weaver has also excelled in the postseason, going 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA in six appearances the last three years.