I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t watch the game. And while I’m in the confessional, I’ll own up to something else: I have absolutely no idea who Ryan Weber is. But he went seven innings last night, giving up just five hits and one run with 10 strikeouts against no walks, and that’s kind of eye-popping, even though IWOTN. That was good for a Game Score of 73, his second game in his last three starts with a game score above 70; though he got shelled in his last start, the one before that he gave up only two hits and one run in seven innings, while striking out five and walking two. So who is this guy?
We drafted him in the 22nd round in 2009, out of St. Petersburg College, a decent baseball school whose most famous alum is Howard Johnson of the Mets. It was a weird situation, though; he was drafted in the 12th round out of high school in 2008, said no, went to college, and then signed with the Braves a year later when they drafted him 10 spots lower. (They signed him for the approximate slot money of a 9th-rounder, so he may have made slightly more money than he would a year later. Still, it was a strange turn of events.)
Weber has a career minor league ERA of 3.89, and a career minor league K/9 of 6.6. He has been used as a swingman, making almost twice as many relief appearances as starts. Last night was literally the first time in his seven-year professional career, as far as I can see, that he got 10 strikeouts, and only the third time that he had gotten more than seven. His previous career high was 9, achieved exactly once, on August 1 of 2010 in his last start for Danville in rookie league. And he recorded 8 strikeouts on the last start of the year in 2013, pitching for Lynchburg in High-A.
He’s 25 years old, a 6-foot tall righthander with an average fastball just under 90 miles an hour, the very epitome of an organizational player made good. And yet, quietly, he had an incredible start. Good for him.