Philly Weather: Pretty Good. Jamie Moyer: ???
The weather here at Citizens Bank Park seems considerably better than expected. Rain has stopped. Wind passed through for now. As of now, looks like we'll play, probably on time. Good breeze from LF pole to RF pole. You can just see the outline of Philly on the horizon in the dusk and mist.
I hoped Jamie Moyer has a nice game, regardless of who wins. He's one of the nicest, but also most competitive people in the game. He's waited his whole life for this night. Even skipped school from the Philly suburbs where he grew up to come to the Phillies' parade after they won their only Series in '80. Still talks about all the people hanging from the light posts and screaming. But this October, he's been almost as bad at the stock market. Two starts, two loses, one of them awful. He's a presicion pitcher. Has his routine been thrown off too much by the irregular work of the post-season? Is his age, 45, catching up with him after a great 16-win season? Are teams able to scout him better and get themselves to focus on the basics against him: hit to the opposite field, make him throw strikes and always "subtract one ball" from the count if you want to know what he's thinking. With Moyer, a 3-2 pitch is a 2-2 pitch, for example. He never gives in, not even with the bases loaded. Hitters find this hard to internalize in mid-season. In October, maybe they do.
This guy hasn't won 246 games by luck. But he could use a little tonight. Carlos Pena owns him (10-for-20, slugging 1.050). Moyer just needs a few good pitches, a friendly strike zone or a couple of overanxious young hitters to expand the zone in the first two innings so that he can get into a rhythm, let his sluggers get a few ABs and get some confidence back. Then you might see a quality start out of him, whether he wins or not. But the first two innings are vital to him. He just has to survive, even if he gives up a run early. If anybody in baseball deserves to have a dignified Series start, it's Moyer,
However, last time I checked, this is still the real world. A lot of people don't get what they deserve. Plenty get just the opposite. At least Moyer has a level field, a good team behind him and a cool night when the ball shouldn't fly out of the park on him as it would in July. It's up to him. He doesn't look it but he's a very emotional guy. Pitches on energy, momentum __jabbers at the hitters after he gets them out__ as much as a 28-year-old. You'd think the 45-year-old would have the most self-control in a Series game. "Experience" and all that. But I suspect that Molyer, more than anybody else, except the hyper Matt Garza maybe, will need his best self-control tonight. He's wanted this experience his whole life and knows that this will probably be his one and only Series appearance.
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