This Isn't Your Father's Soft-Tosser, Actually It Is

I had a rude awakening over the weekend, as I continue to show my unwavering (OK, I’m wavering a little) devotion to my hometown Milwaukee Brewers. I knew I was going to the game on Saturday so I checked ahead to see what the probable pitching matchups early in the week and was disappointed when I saw that Phillies would be rolling out 47-year-old starter Jamie Moyer a day before my visit.
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I based the disappointment on the fact that I believed the Brewers would have no problem teeing off on the geriatric grinder and that his scheduled start was a day ahead of my visit. My outlook was based on his age (did I mention he’s 47?), he’s been among the league leaders in home runs allowed since 21 Jump Street was must-see TV, and the fact that if his fastball ever tops out over 85 mph there should be PED test conducted on the spot. But upon further review, boy was I wrong.

While Moyer did give up three home runs in the second inning of Friday’s game, he quickly settled in and didn’t allow another run and just two more hits during his 6 1/3 innings of work. It was far from pretty as evidenced by the second inning batting practice session but just as he’s been doing since the Reagan Administration, Moyer did enough to pick up the win to improve to 5-2 on the season.

For the season, his 24th in the majors if you’re keeping score at home, Moyer is 5-2 with a 4.57 ERA and a 23/8 strikeout to walk ratio and one complete-game shutout to his credit. For his career, he improved to 263-197 with a career ERA of 4.22. Still not impressed? Consider that Moyer has more victories on the season than Chris Carpenter, Johan Santana, Tim Hudson, Yovanni Gallardo and Dan Haren, and a better WHIP than the last four pitchers named above. Starting to see the picture?

Remember guys like Doug Drabek, Chuck Finley, Sid Fernandez, Dan Plesac and Calvin Schiraldi who excelled during the ’80s? They’ve all been out of baseball for almost a decade if not more, and the common demoninator between them and the Benjamin Buttons of baseball? They all broke into Major League Baseball in 1986. Same goes for Darryl Strawberry, Darren Daulton and Bo Jackson and that’s pushing 25 years ago now.

So, what’s the lesson here? Cliche time: Some things do actually get better with age. Good things come to those who wait. Never judge a book by its cover. And never, ever, underestimate 47-year-old Jamie eff-ing Moyer. Who knew?

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