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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Game 104: Moyer pitches poorly again (59-45)

Jamie Moyer's ERA is up to 5.55 after tonight's 8-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies. With Pedro Martinez and Rodrigo Lopez (and even Brett Myers, potentially) waiting in the wings, I don't know how many more starts Moyer should be allowed. The Phillies are only 5 games up in the division, and if not for a remarkable comeback from the Washington Nationals (pardon the redundancy), they would only be 4 games up with two months to play: hardly a comfortable lead. Moyer should start against the Marlins this weekend, because he has had significant success against them. But, if the Marlins show they can hit him around, I think it's definitely time for Pedro, Lopez, or Myers to take Moyer's spot.

Moyer's poor start tonight was not aided by home-plate umpire Jerry Crawford. His strike zone was extremely inconsistent tonight, and Rockies' starter Jason Hammel seemed to be getting the corners of the plate more often than Moyer. It was almost as if Crawford was over-compensating, knowing that Moyer "relies" on the corner more than most pitchers.

Either way, Moyer was pitching poorly, and with the Phils trailing by a score of 4-0 in the bottom of the 5th with zero outs and a runner on second, Charlie Manuel somehow allowed Moyer to bat. He was up there to sacrifice Ruiz over to third, which really isn't what you need when you're trailing by 4 runs half-way through the game. Moyer ended up flying out, and the Phillies only scored two runs in the inning. If Dobbs hits for Moyer and reaches base and Rollins still homers, perhaps the game would have ended much differently. Moyer only faced two batters in the following inning, walking both. If he is on such a short leash, he should not be batting down by 4.

Also, with the Phillies down by 5 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning, Rollins laced a ball into the left-center gap. He tried to stretch it into a double by sliding head-first into second base, but he was called out even though he clearly reached the base before the he was tagged. It was a pooor decision to run in that situation, and it was an even poorer call by the umpire who makes 6 figures for a 7-month job. However, the fact that Rollins and Manuel did not even argue makes the entire play a disgrace. Yes, it was a poor decision by Rollins - but he trusted his speed and he beat the tag easily. Argue the call: a 5-run deficit with this team is not a blowout.

Poor umpiring, poor pitching, poor managing.


Scott Graham said...

What do you know? 3 lefties strikes again. Utley, Howard, Ibanez allows the Rockies to march Joe Beimel out there for three outs. Werth's OBP is higher than Ibanez's. Why not break them up? Probably the same reason Manuel didn't argue.

On the plus side, Werth was able to inform Manuel of Rollins' being safe at second since he wasn't due up sooner.

Henry Rowengartner said...

Your second paragraph nails it and it is the first time I've seen it mentioned anywhere. The Jamie Moyer of last year is almost exactly similar to the Jamie Moyer of this year. The problem is that he has been a victim of his own success - after his tremendous 2008 year his recipe of success, sniping the corners, became widely known.

Of course that immature group of bloviating jackasses known as MLB umpires, like usual, took this as a personal affront and has now sought to reclaim their strike zone, lest they be thought as mere pawns in Moyer's game (god forbid they aren't the center of attention!).

Find this same dynamic in their constant complaining about HD television and that umpire's astounding assertion to Jeter that he doesn't need to be tagged. Everybody thought the umpire said that because that's how he has always umpired and that's just how it used to be. Well here's my theory - the umpires have tried to reassert themselves against the growing forces of technology, and what better way to do it than with the childish, pathetic, i'm going to take my ball and go home stance of "I'M THE UMPIRE and I can still call you out, the camera be damned"

It's too bad that by the time the tech revolution in baseball comes to pass, the current crop of umps will be long gone. I wish they would be around to have it shoved down their goddamn throats.