It was kind of weird considering someone had to tell Moyer what he did in the approximately 30 minutes it took him to record the final out and then talk to the press. Besides, at this point in his career/life, Moyer has to know that when he accomplishes something exemplary like throw a two-hit shutout, chances are he’s the oldest guy to ever do it.
It’s a curious thing watching someone accept platitudes by downplaying them. Maybe Moyer is just shy or a little embarrassed about how good he was in comparison to the Braves? Maybe he doesn’t like to talk about his age?
“It was cool,” he said, downplaying the result, and seemingly holding back a bored yawn. “Just doing my job.”
After an evening to reflect on what we saw from Moyer on Friday night against a Braves team that has been barraged by a number superlative pitching performances this season, it’s pretty safe to assume that we witnessed a record that won’t be broken any time soon. When Phil Niekro established the record in October of 1985, Moyer, then 22, had wrapped up a season where he climbed from Single-A Winston-Salem to Double-A Pitsfield. Niekro broke the record set by Satchel Paige in 1952 (his second shutout as a 46-year old), which was a decade before Moyer’s birth.
In other words, if anyone breaks Moyer’s record he probably is coming through the low minors or hasn’t even been born yet. Or maybe it’s Tim Wakefield, who at 43 is still floating that knuckleball up there for the Red Sox… that is if Wakefield can get back into the starting rotation four years from now.
Yeah, that’s “cool.”
Nevertheless, since Moyer downplayed the event, maybe we should, too. After all, it was the Braves the wily lefty blanked and they didn’t have All-Star catcher Brian McCann or rookie phenom Jason Heyward in the lineup. Moreover, Troy Glaus led off the second inning with a single on the first pitch and then from there it took Moyer just two more pitches to record the final three outs of the inning.
One hit, three hitters and three pitches…
This season the Braves have been no-hit by Ubaldo Jimenez, though he allowed six walks to do it, and the day before Moyer’s gem, Washington’s Scott Olsen came five outs away from a no-no against Atlanta. Considering that Olsen often seems to be his own worst enemy on the mound and was sent to the minors at the start of the season, a second no-hitter would have been the greatest indignity.
“I think if that would have happened you probably have to put us all on a suicide watch,” Chipper Jones said.
After last night’s game Jones went on about how Moyer, at “87,” schooled them.
“Jamie carved us up,” Jones said. “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.”
Considering the Braves also posted eight scoreless innings against back-of-the-rotation hurler, Kyle Kendrick, and were already shutout by Roy Halladay, it seems as if everyone is having a good time with the Braves’ hitters. At least the Phillies starters are, combining to go 32 innings against the Braves in four games without allowing a single earned run. What stands out more is that the Braves have more strikeouts (20), than hits (17) against the Phils’ starters this season.
So really, maybe it was the lineup Bobby Cox sent out there on Friday night that had the most to do with Jamie Moyer’s record-setting performance. Considering he was two Troy Glaus singles away from a perfect game, that might have something to do with it.