Monday, September 22, 2008

50 at 45

Today in Florida, the Phillies won and took a 1.5 game edge in the division, cutting their magic number to six. Even in the event of a division collapse, they would still be up three games on the Brewers for the wildcard, so it's very likely that they are going to be playing meaningful baseball after next Sunday.

The game was also notable for the 15th (!) win of the season for the 45-year-old Jamie Moyer, who went six effective innings (1 earned run, 7 base runners, 4 whiffs) and lowered his ERA to 3.78. His 1.34 WHIP tells you that he's been doing some of this with (a lack of) smoke and mirrors, but it's Jamie Moyer; you can argue that he's spent his entire career doing it that way.

The win was Moyer's 245th, which doesn't sound like a terribly meaningful milestone, but there's this... with the win, the ageless lefty is now in the top 50 all-time in baseball history. He passed Dennis Martinez to break into that group.

Roll that around in your head a little. Baseball has been played for 120+ years, with tens of thousands of men taking the mound. Moyer, a guy whose talent probably wouldn't get a second look from a scout for anything but a minor league filler job, has won more games than all but 50 of them.

He is, of course, not done yet. Six more has him pass Bob Gibson. Nine puts Jack Morris in the rear-view mirror. Twenty takes out Bob Feller. There are others, of course, but for the most part, you haven't heard of them, because they played baseball before you were born.

And if he feels like pitching until he's 50, and doing it effectively for a team like the Phillies that gives him good run support? He wins 300, breaks into the top 25, and probably makes the Hall of Fame with the most unlikely resume in the institution's history. (If you want to break this into lefties, of course, he's probably in the top 20 of those already.)

And if you really think that he can't do it... well, why? Is he going to start throwing too hard and ruin things?

1 comment:

steve said...

Just like Rick Barry's underhanded free throws, you wonder if anyone is asking Moyer how to pitch when one does not throw 90 + mph ? MLB 2008 , probably not .