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Jered Weaver throws a “Maddux” against the Athletics

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A few years ago, friend of the blog Jason Lukehart created a statistic called the “Maddux,” which is when a pitcher throws a complete game shutout on fewer than 100 pitches. Only a handful of them happen every year, only slightly more common than no-hitters.

Angels starter Jered Weaver threw the first “Maddux” of 2016, shutting out the Athletics on 95 pitches on Sunday afternoon in Oakland. He yielded three hits (all singles) and a walk while striking out one in the effort. Weaver had just two runs of support, coming on an Albert Pujols ground out in the first inning and a Carlos Perez solo home run in the fifth.

Weaver, 33, lowered his ERA to 5.10 and evened his record at 6-6 with Sunday’s effort. His velocity was a hot topic of conversation during spring training. FanGraphs has his fastball at an average velocity of 82.5 MPH, by far the lowest of his career and about 1 MPH lower than his average velocity last season. Weaver topped out at 85 MPH on Sunday, per MLB.com’s Mike Petriello.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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