Jamie Moyer is simply amazing. At 45 years old it is hard to believe that coming into tonight's game his ERA is less than half a run more than superstar Cole Hamels!
Like everybody, I always wondered how a guy that old with an 82 mph fastball can be so darn good. Put simply: he is smart and hitters are stupid. But how exactly does he do it? I decided tonight to use my expert analysis to find out:
He keeps the ball down. The one contstant I found was that he kept the ball down to everyone. In fact, I counted one ball up in the zone ALL NIGHT. Moyer realizes that a fastball at eighty is just asking to get hit, so he doesn't throw it.
He pitches just off the plate. If you watch him closely you will see that most of his pitches are not strikes but players just cannot resist. That is why he is so good. Hitters' eyes light up when they see the lob approaching and they can't lay off a pitch 6 inches off the plate, and you won't get many hits off the end of your bat.
He never gives in. Moyer didn't have his best stuff tonight but like Tom Glavine he was perfectly content walking a few and hitting the showers early rather than toss a fat one. Want proof? Moyer gave up 6 hits, 2 walks, a hit batter in five and gave up only two runs. At one point he left 8 guys on in 3 innings - that's only one guy not on base!
Not afraid to pitch in. Moyer mixes in quite a few pitches inside. As Sarge said, "that's exactly where they want it but they can't believe he throws it there." But once again, it is just off the plate. That why you will see some rockets but they are way foul.
He is annoying. I'm sure you heard that Moyer will throw over a lot just to get certain hitters ancy. He wheeled to second twice in Willingham's at bat for just that reason. Nothing better that seeing the looks on those punks faces with Moyer on the hill.
Final analysis: Jamie Moyer is a flat-out genius!
Ramirez stealing third in the fourth was a really smart play. The Marlins were just being confounded by Jamie and needed a jump start. Those are the things that keep your momentum.
Did you notice the relay from Rollins on the play at the plate? It was an absolutely perfect laser. Check out the replay.
Howard's defense gets us again....twice. First was a grounder right between his legs. Second was a ball hit between him and Moyer that he went for rather than go to the bag. Not the worst mistake but a first baseman has to be able to read the play. Howard has been better recently but those plays are killers.