This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets a completely movable object.
How else can you describe Jamie Moyer (9 IP, 0 ER, 5 K’s)? What words can you pull out of the air and put next to his name that can effectively describe what was seen last night? The press will use terms like “grizzled” or “ageless,” both of which come with equal dosage of positive and negative vibes.
But the thing is, Jamie Moyer doesn’t deserve to have his age mentioned on the air ever again. He doesn’t need to be told he’s 47 years old, and apparently, it doesn’t affect his pitching in any way. If anything, it seems to make him better. He hasn’t thrown a complete game since 2006.
“How does it feel to make history?” some reporter asked him.
“What history did I make?” Jamie asked, turning a monotone, dead-eyed stare towards his inquisitor.
The young man shat himself and looked at the ground. “… oldest player to ever throw a shut out.”
He looked back at the press corps. “Just doing my job.”
Phillies 7, Braves 0
If there was a creak in his bones, Jamie didn’t show it, and the Heyward-McCann-Escobar-less Braves continued their stumbling descent down the basement steps.
This game illustrated the immense danger opposing teams find themselves in when facing a Phillies squad that is firing on all cylinders: Offensively, everybody recorded a hit except for Jamie and Shane Victorino. Defensively, Shane had a miraculous catch and Ryan Howard tracked down a blooping pop-up that looked like a wounded bird falling out of the air.
And has anyone mentioned how freaking hard Wilson Valdez throws the ball from short? Its just a white blur streaking ferociously across the diamond, like the baseball from Calvin and Hobbes.
But that’s coming from me, a guy who made a high school baseball career out of mostly hiding.
In fact, the low point of the evening was probably the awkwardly paced interview with Raul Ibanez’s fifth grade teacher. The large chunks of dead air followed by desperate churnings of small talk from Tom MacCarthy and Wheels sounded like in-laws perched over a cheese plate after grandma’s court date.
As the sun sets on another pristine pitching start in Philadelphia, we are left with the echoing cheers of the crowd for a man who, just mere months ago, was competing for a spot on the rotation. Chipper Jones offered his sentiments on the evening:
“The guy is 87 years old and he’s still pitching for a reason. He stays off the barrel. He changes speeds, changes the game plan and keeps you guessing.”
I think your math’s a little off, Larry, but that’s all right. You had a tough night.