Jamie Moyer: Law of Averages Catching Up to Phillies' Ageless Wonder
Jamie Moyer is still an effective major league pitcher.
And it’s still perfectly clear that National League lineups aren’t even close to catching up to the 47-year-old craftsman.
But over Moyer’s past three starts, it seems that the law of averages certainly has...
Jamie is suddenly losing games that he has pitched well enough to win. The incredible, coincidental run support that Moyer has received every fifth day from August 2006 through mid-May 2010 in Philadelphia simply isn’t there anymore.
The Phils have been shut out in each of Moyer’s past three games.
In Moyer’s three starts between May 2 and May 14, the Phillies scored a ridiculous 26 runs in his 21 innings on the mound (Moyer won each of those starts). Now, the Phillies haven’t scored in his last 21 innings.
But Jamie’s not the only Phillies pitcher dealing with a lack of offensive support these days. For example, Roy Halladay has received just two runs in his last 24 innings (and one of those runs was unearned).
It’s logical to think that receiving run support has come naturally for all Phillies pitchers over the past several seasons—that, in the long run, all pitchers receive roughly the same offensive backing.
However, the numbers seem to indicate that Moyer has been granted way more than his fair share of support since joining the club in 2006.
For example, Moyer has a 52-36 record with a 4.49 ERA in 113 games as a Phillie. Yet, teammate Cole Hamels has an almost identical 53-37 record and a 3.68 ERA with the Phillies in 126 games.
Hamels has virtually the same Phillies career record as Moyer despite an ERA that is over three-quarters of a run lower.
Moyer is still virtually the same pitcher he was back in 2004, except he’s pitching for a much, much better team. In his 90 starts for the Seattle Mariners between '04 and '06, Jamie had a 4.64 ERA and a sub-.500 record of just 26-32.
Yet, Moyer is 16 games over .500 with the Phillies, despite a very similar ERA of 4.49.
Another comparison of Moyer and Hamels’ statistics reveals more of the same. In seven of his 32 starts in 2009, Hamels gave up three runs or fewer but did not get a win. Moyer had only two such games during his 25 starts last season.
In ’08, Hamels pitched a remarkable 10 games where he gave up two earned runs or fewer and DID NOT get a win. Yet his record was still 14-10.
In 2010, the Phillies have scored seven or more runs in all five of Moyer’s wins. Again, the Phillies have scored just two runs or fewer in three of Halladay’s seven wins.
Of course, the usually dependable run support for Jamie Moyer has been nowhere to be found in his past three starts. The lefty has pitched very well over that span but has seen his record fall to 5-5.
Guess all good things really do come to an end.
***Below is a list of the winningest pitchers since the start of 2007 (complete through May 31, 2010). Moyer is the only pitcher on this list to have an ERA above 4.00. His ERA is over 4.50. Jamie's in some pretty good company...
Roy Halladay 60-31 2.96
C.C. Sabathia 59-28 3.18
Justin Verlander 53-37 3.93
Adam Wainwright 51-26 3.04
Dan Haren 50-31 3.40
Josh Beckett 50-24 3.97
Johan Santana 48-31 2.98
Derek Lowe 48-39 4.00
John Lackey 47-25 3.61
A.J. Burnett 47-29 3.90
Jamie Moyer 47-34 4.51
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