When discussing some of the best left handed pitchers in baseballs rich history, we think...Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton...even Randy Johnson. Rightfully so. These guys were/are nightmares to opposing hitters.
But how often do these discussions highlight the career of Jamie Moyer? How many times does the name Jamie Moyer pop up in discussions with the likes of Steve Carlton? Not much, I'd be willing to bet. But he should.
Moyer didn't have the 95 mph + fastball. He didn't have the nastiest slider, nor the biggest breaking curve ball. Yet he still managed to compile 250 wins...and counting
Not to discredit anything Randy Johnson has done, but up until recently I doubt that Johnson did much study on opposing hitters. It didn't matter to him, who could catch up to his fastball. Who could hit the slider coming at 90+ into right handers and away from lefties. No one could. Moyer, has none of that.
Moyer does, however, come to the game with an approach much like that of an offensive co-ordinater in the NFL. A methodical approach meant to break down each hitters tendencies and exploit them. The result? Sunday, May 31, 2009...Jamie Moyer becomes the 44th pitcher in MLB's history to win 250 games in a career.
Pretty prestigious group. But even more incredible is that Moyer is only the 11th southpaw to perform the feat. Of the thousands of lefties ever to play the game, 11 of them have won 250 or more games. 11! And that list includes...Jamie Moyer!
Of the 11 Southpaws on this very, very exclusive list, Moyer has the sixth best winning percentage at 56.82 percent. Right behind another beloved and cherished Phillies Lefty...Steve Carlton at 57.42 percent.
So let us not downplay this enormous moment for Mr. Moyer by claiming he only got there by playing 23 years and that it was bound to happen. No! Let us appreciate what he's done and recognize this great accomplishment for what it is...INCREDIBLE!!!
Moyer will never go down as one of the most dominant pitchers of all time. We'll never talk about the time his fastball reached 102 on the Jugs Gun. We'll never recall where we were when he threw a perfect game or a no-no. These things didn't happen and yet statistically, Moyer compares up there with some of the greatest pitchers of all time.
So here's to you Jamie Moyer. You deserve all the credit for you accomplishments and any others you have throughout the rest of your career. You are one of 39 men who made me cry for the first time over a sporting event and gave me a moment I'll never forget.
Here's to your 250th...Go Phightins.