Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Old Man And The C

Crafty, change up, cunning, career, consistent. All words that could be used to describe Jamie Moyer. He of the fastball slowball and even slower change up. The 47-yr old who became the oldest pitcher ever to defeat the Yankees when he and the Philadelphia Phillies topped the Bombers 6-3 last night.

Moyer hasn't just seemingly been around forever, he has been around forever. I saw the Yankees beat him as a member of the Baltimore 1993. Bob Wickman was the Yankees winning pitcher. In fact, last night marked the 24th anniversary of Moyer's major league debut with the Chicago Cubs.

The lefty was at his slowest best last night, limiting the Yankees to three hits and two runs - solo home runs by Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada - over eight innings. He even struck out five batters. Maybe that doesn't sound like a lot, but it is when you've only struck out 34 hitters in the previous 73.1 innings.

Moyer had plenty of help from his offense, which has been unusually anemic this year. Yankees starter A.J. Burnett served up pitches on a silver platter/batting tee and the Phillies knocked them out of the park.

Burnett, who pitches like the love child of Roy Halladay and Jeff Weaver, was tagged for six runs over six innings. In his last three starts, the tattooed right-hander has been tattooed for 16 earned runs in 16 innings. After an easy-breezy 1st inning, Burnett was charged with four runs in the 2nd, three of them on a bases loaded triple by Shane Victorino.

Cano's home run cut the score to 4-1, but Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit back-to-back home runs off Burnett in the 3rd for a 6-1 Phillies lead.

The Yankees actually sent the tying run to the plate in the 9th inning against closer Brad Lidge. Alex Rodriguez, back in the lineup as DH, doubled in a run to halve the lead and Cano followed with a single. But Lidge came back to strike out Jorge Posada to end the game.


Twitter and the blogs were abuzz last night with people bashing Burnett and screaming at the Yankees for not having the ability to beat up on Moyer. I'm sure the latter came from Moyer's one inning, nine earned run performance against Boston in his last start.

It doesn't matter if you have a 95-mph fastball or one that barely breaks the speed limit. If you know how to pitch and have enough weapons in your arsenal, you can beat teams. Until recent years, Moyer had been consistent for much of his career. Last night he was on.

Conversely, Burnett is the model of inconsistency. His stuff is awesome, you hear about it every time he pitches. But whether it's mental, physical, or both, he does not always bring his 'A' game. That included forgetting to cover first base on a grounder to the right side last night. He is what he is and it's ridiculous for fans to demand he be traded or talk about how much money he's making. It's absurd for any Yankees fan to want the team to spend whatever it takes to land a player and then criticize said player for making that money.

The only bright spot from last night's game was the performance of recently recalled Boone Logan and Chad Gaudin. The two limited the Phillies to just a single walk over the final 5.2 innings.

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