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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Game 126: Moyer wins another rain-delayed game (74-52)

The Phillies began a pivotal three-game series against the Braves last night with a 4-2 victory on the shoulders of Jamie Moyer and Ryan Howard. For the second time in his past three starts, Pedro Martinez was forced to leave the game before the 4th inning because of a rain-delay. Just like last time, Moyer ended up with the win in long relief. The rain delay was an absolute benefit to the Phillies, because it knocked Braves star rookie Tommy Hanson out of the game while the Phils were forced to simply remove their 5th starter.

I never understood the people who claimed that Moyer's 82 MPH fastball was not suitable for the bullpen. After facing a guy like Pedro who can reach the mid-90s, it is difficult to adjust to a pitcher who's fastest pitch is in the low-80s. If Moyer starts the game, the opposition is adjusting from a batting-practice coach who throws in the 70s. It may actually be the case that Moyer's slow-speed is more appropriate in the bullpen.

Regardless, Charlie Manuel did an excellent job last night. He allowed Moyer to pitch into the 7th inning, completing 4 1/3 innings of 1-run ball. Manuel removed Moyer from the game in favor of Chan Ho Park, which I thought was a smart decision given Park's recent performance and Moyer's potential to give up a big inning. Park finished the 7th, Ryan Madson allowed one-run in the 8th, and Brad Lidge closed down the 9th against a team that he has struggled with in the past. No complaints for the manager today.

Oh, and Ryan Howard hit two more home runs. Woof.

The Phils look to extend their lead over the Braves to 9 games tonight at 7:05 pm when LHP Cliff Lee faces RHP Derek Lowe.

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