Saturday, May 08, 2010

Old Man Pitcher

How about the old man? Jamie Moyer, age 47, shuts the Braves out on two hits. Why yes, the Hall of Fame will be demanding some souvenirs!
The previous oldest pitcher to ever throw a complete-game shutout was Phil Niekro, who was 46 years, 188 days old with the Yankees when he shut out the Blue Jays in 1985.

Moyer passed him by nearly a full year.

He is the first pitcher in baseball history to throw shutouts in four different decades. The first one he threw was 24 years ago on Aug. 16, 1986. ("Hmm. That's a few years ago," Moyer said.)

On Friday, Moyer faced one batter over the minimum. He allowed just two singles - both to Troy Glaus. "That's impressive regardless of how old you are," righthander Roy Halladay said. For the record, Halladay said he will be fishing when he is 47 years old.

Moyer began the ninth with 96 pitches thrown. Nate McLouth popped out to third. Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske grounded out to first.

The sellout crowd rose and began chanting, "Jamie! Jamie! Jamie!"

Omar Infante grounded out to shortstop to end the game on Moyer's 105th pitch of the night. Ruiz raised his fist in the air, but Moyer barely flinched. He hugged Ruiz and patted the catcher on the head.

At one point, Moyer retired 17 straight Atlanta batters.

Frank Helps You Think It All Out
is an unapologetic Moyer fan. Moyer has not been in Philadelphia for four complete seasons yet- but he has 51 wins, a very respectable 18 games over .500. I bet there aren’t a dozen National League pitchers with more wins over that span. He keeps the Phillies in games and takes the ball a lot – he has made thirty or more starts each full season he has been here and won double digit games. Bottom line: he is a quality starting pitcher.

Plus, you hear complaints about teams that don’t try or give 100%. But Moyer pitches, his teammates are the hardest “trying” team in baseball. The Phillies give 300% on Moyer's turns. They play up-on-their-toes defense, hit a ton, work hard to get him back in games. Moyer does throw some stinkers out there- but no one ever complains, they dig in to get him off the hook. The Phillies good culture stems more from Moyer’s presence than is acknowledged. They rally around the old man- and he is one of the personalities that makes this organization fun to root for. The Phillies and Moyer are easy to pull for.

So extra doughnuts to celebrate this morning.