The Fightins'

Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Moyer’

Sep
22
2011
Posted by at 2:45 pm ET 58 Comments

(h/t @magelb)

Phillies Instructional League

Clearwater, FL

Domonic Brown sits attentively in the front row of a classroom.  His posture indicates a willingness to learn, somehow.  He is surrounded by others with far more audible body language; his fellow students slouch in their chairs, listen to iPods too loudly, and talk amongst themselves without much care for the volume or content of their words.

Loud Talker 1: Did anybody bring a glove I can borrow?

Loud Talker 2:  Oh god oh god oh god what the hell’s the infield fly rule oh god oh god oh god

Loud Talker 1:  Meh, you know what?  I’ll bet we won’t even use gloves today here at How to Play Baseball Camp. Read more »

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Nov
09
2010
Posted by at 2:42 pm ET 34 Comments

Since it’s the off-season, not much happens around these parts, save for the occasional and not-at-all-shocking-picture of Pat Burrell or homage to Katy Perry. Still, baseball is occurring, and we’re going to do our best to keep the masses informed of all the comings and goings of the Hot Stove. And while we might not be able to dedicate one post to every column, blurb, or tweet about the Lees and Werths of the world, we can alway s rely on a good ol’ fashioned link dump.* Enjoy.

  • Some 30 years ago, the Phillies made one of the worst trades in franchise history when they sent Ryne Sandberg to the Chicago Cubs, where he went on to have a Hall of Fame career and is widely considered to be one of the greatest second basemen of all time. A reunion between parties might be in order, as the Phillies have approached Sandberg to be the coach of their Triple-A affiliate. Sandberg, who was recently managing in the Cubs’ system, was passed over by the club when he was passed over in favor of Mike Quade to manage the Big Club, says Todd Zolecki, who also writes about another former Phillie, Juan Samuel, being considered to fill the spikes of Davy Lopes as the first base coach. [Zo Zone]
  • Although Domonic Brown is the crown jewel of the Phillies’ farm system, David Murphy writes about three other prospects who could have a big impact on the Phillies in the near future: First baseman Matt Rizzotti, relief pitcher Josh Zeid, and starting pitcher Justin DeFratus. Rizzotti has put up big numbers in the minors and Zeid projects as a power closer, but the one who could have the biggest and most sudden impact would be one DeFratus, a 22-year-old starting pitcher with a big arm who has quickly ascended through the Phillies’ farm system. [High Cheese]
  • Phillies Jayson Werth and Cliff Lee are two of the biggest free agent targets this offseason, and both are likely targets of the Phils, Jim Salisbury writes. And could a Domonic Brown-for-Andrew McCutchen swap be in the cards? Not really, but it makes more sense than you’d think. [CSNPhilly]
  • Bad news for Jamie Moyer, who injured his elbow while pitching in winter ball in the Dominican Republic as he attempts to pitch in his 25th Major League season in 2011. The veteran lefty, who turns 48 next week, injured his left elbow in July and has season-ending surgery shortly thereafter. [CSNPhilly]
  • Pat Gillick, former General Manager and current advisor to the team, is being considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame via their election committee, writes Bob Brookover. Gillick has seen success at every stop in his front office career, and was at the helm when the Phillies won their second World Series in franchise history in 2008. [Philly.com]

*Hopefully, this will become an at least semi-daily feature here at The Fightins. If that’s the case, then it’s probably going to need a better name. I was admittedly in a rush to get this done, and I wrote “Emphorium” in a fit of irony. Suggestions are more than welcome.

Jul
01
2010
Posted by at 4:10 pm ET 38 Comments

I can’t believe The Fightins x Birdland didn’t jump on this. Now Jamie should wear a shirt with Ben Francisco’s batting average on it.

(Via Matt Gelb on Twitter)

Jun
28
2010
Posted by at 10:57 am ET 47 Comments

Check the bottom left hand corner of this shot from last night’s Jamie Moyer interview on NBC 10 news.

Thanks to Mike O’Sull for the heads up, via the wonderful Marisa Magnatta on the tweets:

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Jun
23
2010
Posted by at 8:50 am ET 32 Comments

You know, Jamie Moyer is a lot like Michael Mann’s action-thriller Heat. Both found prominence in the mid-to-late 90s, both are highly intellectual, thinking-man pieces that rely on savvy as much as skill, and finally, both seem to get better with each viewing.

While our own crafty veteran doesn’t have the baseball equivalent in star power to a Al Pacino or a Robert DeNiro, he does have something that is invaluable to the movie (or any) industry: Staying power.

In a day where the game is littered with young talents like Jason Heyward, Stephen Strasburg and, David Price, who impress with their raw talent and straight-up flair, there sits the 47-year-old Moyer, a dinosaur in this game and a juxtaposition to the youth movement that, each year, seems to get younger and younger.

But unlike those youngsters (or, as Jamie might call ‘Whipper-Snappers’), Moyer is all steak and no sizzle; getting the job done with a repertoire that consists of slow, slower, and slowest, a fastball that is a change up and a change up that somehow defies physics during the sixty foot trip to home plate.

While Moyer’s had a somewhat storied career, if for nothing else than its longevity and its dependence on underwhelming “stuff,” it’s not crazy to suggest that, at three years shy of 50, he is having one of the best years of his career.

In his 24-year-career, Moyer is sporting his the fourth fewest hits per nine (8.4), second fewest walks per nine (1.8), sixth best SO/BB ratio (4.3), and third best WHIP (1.131). The only significant statistics that don’t rank high for Jamie are strikeouts per nine (4.3, a career low), and home runs per nine (1.4). But when you consider that he is giving up less hits and walks, it’s not completely significant.

(Now, with all due respect to Jamie, he has been lucky this season with a .242 BABIP. Consider that the league average is around .300. But hey, even the vets get lucky.)

Jamie isn’t the prototypical ‘ horse’ of a staff, (although he’s topped 200+ innings 10 times), he is going deep into games this season. In his 14 starts, he’s gone at least six innings in all but two of his starts, seven innings once, eight innings twice, and two complete games (with one shutout) for good measure. Roy Halladay he ain’t, but not bad for a guy whose job was in jeopardy in March.

And by using Dash’s trademark ‘Worst Start’ metric, wherein I remove his worst start (1 IP, 9 ER vs Boston) from his statistics, he ERA plummets from 4.43 to 3.56. Not too bad at all.

So while Roy Halladay is breaking faces as Cole Hamels re-establishes himself as one of the best pitchers in the game, don’t overlook Jamie Moyer, whose 2010 campaign has been more than worth the price of admission.

Also, go watch Heat.

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Jun
18
2010
Posted by at 3:43 pm ET 28 Comments

You know why I really love baseball?

Aside from the obvious reasons, those being that it’s fun to play, fun to watch, and fun to talk about, fun to root for a team and all that.

It’s because America’s Pastime is so completely and utterly unpredictable, and on any given night, you’re likely to see something that’s never happened before.

For an example of this, look no farther than the series against the New York Yankees, when the Phillies dropped the first of three, only to bounce back and take the final two games. At first glance, there is nothing spectacular about that statement. After all, teams come back from an opening game loss all the time. It’s not uncommon.

But what is uncommon is the method in which they accomplished that feat. Roy Halladay, one of the best in the game and who has dominated the Yankees in his career, got lit up by the Bronx Bombers to the tune of six runs in six innings of work. To add insult to injury, they did it on the strength of three homers, doubling the total number of homers given up by Halladay all season.

And after dropping that first game, they Phillies sent 47-year-old* Jamie Moyer to the hill to take on one of the most powerful offenses in the game. Just six days earlier, Moyer lasted less than two innings against the Boston Red Sox, giving up nine runs in what would be the worst performance of his career.

Moyer, who is decidedly not Halladay-like, held the Yankees to two runs over eight impressive innings where he allowed three hits and a walk, while striking out eight.

The same can be said for Thursday night’s starter, Kyle Kendrick, who was competing against Moyer for a rotation spot in spring training. Kendrick’s ERA is near 5.00 and was also coming off a rough outing of five earned in five innings.

Like Moyer, Kendrick isn’t spectacular and is eminently hittable, which must have made it doubly frustrating for the Yanks, who managed to get all of six baserunners of the young right-hander, plating only one of them.

That’s why baseball is great, because of that sense of unpredictability and chaos borne out of a series that was spun on its head from the start. Coming into the three game set, no one in their right mind would have predicted that the Phillies would’ve taken two of three, with the best pitching performances coming from Moyer and Kendrick, who allowed less runs (3) in more innings (15) than Halladay allowed in his start (6, 6).

But that’s why the games are played, away from the trappings of paper statistics, PECOTA rankings and AccuScore predictions.

And that’s why I love it.

*Proper associated press style dictates that, when discussing Jamie Moyer, a reference to his age is required.
May
08
2010
Posted by at 10:16 am ET 41 Comments

History, thy name is Jamie Moyer.

With a dazzling performance on Friday night, Moyer, 47, entered the record books as the oldest pitcher in Major Leauge history to throw a complete game shutout, surpassing Phil Niekro, whose shutout at the age of 46 against the Toronto Blue Jays stood since 1986.

It was the tenth complete game shutout of Moyer’s career, and his first in a Phillies (18-11) uniform, leading them to their fourth win in a row, and their sixth in their last seven games.

The unlucky opponent of Moyer was the Atlanta Braves (12-17), whose dreadful offense has led to six shutouts this season, a no hitter at the hands of Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez, and a seven inning no-hitter from Washington’s Scott Olsen on Thursday night.

So yeah, maybe Moyer got a bit of help from the club that had all of two starters hitting above .260, but it was an impressive outing nonetheless, as he needed only 105 pitches to go the distance, allowing only two hits while striking out five and only facing one batter above the minumum.

Moyer set the Braves down in order in the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth inning, and at one point, set down 17 in a row between the second and seventh innings.

It was a complete and utter domination from the very same pitcher whose job was in jeopardy when the season started. Funny how things work out, right?

Meanwhile, the Phillies offense did its job, rocking Braves starter Derek Lowe for seven runs in five innings, the first of which came on a three-run blast by Jayson Werth in the third inning. Raul Ibanez and Wilson Valdez both had two-run RBI singles in the game.

And that is all I will say about the offense, as the story of the night was Jamie Moyer and his history making start.

Say what you want about Moyer, but you cannot help but be amazed by what he does on the mound every fifth day. In an era where pitchers are consistently in the mid to high 90s on the gun while dropping new-buckling curve balls or face-breaking cutters, it’s almost refreshing to see Jamie Moyer on the hill, using nothing but junk pitches and guile to grind out the innings and win games.

But sometimes, that is all a pitcher needs.

Jamie Moyer (W, 4-2) tossed a compete game shutout, allowing two hits and no walks, while striking out five.

Placido Polanco went 2 for 5 with a double (6) and a run.

Chase Utley went 2 for 2 with two runs.

Ryan Howard went 2 for 4 with two runs.

Jasyon Werth went 2 for 4 with a double (16), a homer (6) and three RBIs.

Raul Ibanez went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

Derek Lowe (L, 4-3) allowed seven earned runs in five innings on 11 hits and two walks, while striking out two.

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May
08
2010
Posted by at 9:16 am ET 7 Comments

Certainly by now, you’ve heard — 47.17 year old Jamie Moyer channeled the ghost of Robin Roberts last night and became the oldest pitcher in the loooong history of major league baseball to toss a complete game shutout.

Granted, it was against the ANEMIC offense of the Atlanta Braves; the same Braves who have been shut out an ML best (worst?) SIX times already this season, including being no-hit by Ubaldo Jimenez back on April 17th. AND they were minus Jason Heyward, Yuney Escobar, and Brian McCann, but still — it was pretty damn impressive.

Thankfully, those hard working, spreadsheet making folks at Baseball Reference put together a nice little blog post outlining the best pitching performances by old folk that I highly recommend you check out. After reading it, I’m convinced that this just may be a record that will NEVER be broken. NEVER EVER.

And I can’t leave this post without giving some propers to Jayson Stark on the tweets, who was all over the historical significance of this feat as it was playing out last night:

http://twitter.com/JaysonST

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Apr
23
2010
Posted by at 10:40 am ET 53 Comments

So far this young season, Braves fans have come to expect great things when their newest phenom Jason Heyward steps to the plate. In his very first AB this year, the man-child jacked a home run into the right field bullpen at Turner Field. Jason also hit a GW 2-run single with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th last Sunday against the Rockies, and two days later he hit a game-tying solo shot with 2 outs in the 9th off Ryan Madson to send the game into extras.

Then last night, with the Braves trailing 6-2 in the bottom of the 6th inning, Heyward came up to bat with runners on 2nd & 3rd and 1 out to face a guy old enough to be his father, that cagey veteran Jamie Moyer.

Another perfect setup for some patented Heyward heroics, right?

WRONG.

After falling behind quickly 3-0, Jamie Moyer composed himself and got a couple called strikes and a foul ball to work the count full. THAT’S when Jamie decided to freeze his ass with an 80-mph knee buckling cut-fastball.

Take a seat, rook.

Perhaps my favorite moment so far in 2010.

You can see the K, along with Jamie’s punchouts of Troy Glaus, Yuney Escobar, and Troy Glaus again HERE.

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Apr
23
2010
Posted by at 9:46 am ET 30 Comments

Think back to three days ago, after Jason Heyward took a good pitch from Ryan Madson over the center field wall, and after Nate McLouth delivered in extra innings with the walk-off to take the first game of the series.

Did you think the Phillies would be here, two games later, with a series victory?

Yeah, me neither.

Call me a cynic, but going up against the likes of Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, and Derek Lowe is not my definition of “an easy go of it.” But darn it all, if the Phils didn’t make it seem that way.

Despite the crushing loss on Tuesday night, the Phillies were in control of that game for 26 outs. Yeah, it matters that they couldn’t get that elusive 27th out with a lead, but you know what I mean. They pitched well, and even though they only managed three runs, they hit – or should I say, batted well against young Hanson.

They did the same thing against Hudson, working the counts and forcing him to an early shower. And then to Lowe. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And that is what has made the difference for the Phillies this season. The at-bats. Going into last night’s game, the Phillies were fourth in the league in walks (64), and last – LAST – in the league in strikeouts.

Yeah, I can’t believe that either. This offense, known for their offensive firepower, and as a side effect, their propensity to amass strikeouts (they were first in the N.L. In 2009 and third in 2008), hasn’t done much of that in the early going. Sure, it’s only been 15 games, but it’s an important number, nonetheless.

And with the win last night, where Jamie Moyer deftly cut up an Atlanta offense that has been so-so in the early goings, the Phillies have survived their first real “test” of the season – a six game stretch against the Florida Marlins and the Atlanta Braves, going 3-3 over the stretch, which could have easily been 4-2 or 5-1.

***

While Moyer’s start was impressive (as have most of his starts this season, save for two innings), I found that the most important moment in the game came in the fifth, following Chase Utley’s second error of the inning.

Instead of losing his composure, you know what he did? He told Chase not to worry. He chilled them fellas out, Moyer-style. Check it:

Big ups to @PhilliesDoll for the cap.

Say what you want about Moyer’s “stuff,” his age or whatever other pejorative terms you can come up with,  but you have to give him props for not losing his focus and for extending The Olive Branch of Chill to Chase.

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