Some things in life you just cannot explain.
Things like: How does lint get in my belly button? How do ugly musicians marry supermodels? And, how in the world is Jamie Moyer, 47, still winning baseball games at the Major League level?
After last night’s seven-hit, one-strikeout, complete-game performance against the San Diego Padres, in a 6-2 victory, Moyer continues to be a phenomenon.
The win was Moyer’s 264th of his 24-year career and his 100th victory after turning 40 (an accomplishment only reached by Jack Quinn and Phil Niekro).
This season, Moyer is 6-5 with a 3.98 ERA (career ERA is 4.21) and is still striking out batters—which he did last night against Padres’ outfielder Oscar Salazar with a 75-mph fastball, or change-up (it’s hard to tell the difference).
The most impressive thing about Moyer is he is not Nolan Ryan pitching into his mid-to late 40’s. Ryan retired at age 46.
This is Moyer, who at times gets his brain beaten in, but has compiled a winning record in four of his last five seasons.
Moyer’s 620 starts are first among all active pitchers. Second is Andy Pettitte with 468. Moyer needs just six more starts to pass Jim Kaat for 16th all time.
The Pennsylvania native has pitched most of his career in Seattle. In 11 seasons, Moyer went 145-87 with a 3.97 ERA and made the 2003 All-Star.
Midway through the 2006 season, the Mariners shipped Moyer, a 5.5 million dollar salad tosser, to the Phillies for two minor league prospects.
At the time, it made sense to the Seattle brass to move Moyer, who made eight million dollars in 2005. However, his career was far from over.
Since arriving in Philadelphia, Moyer has gone 53-36 with a 4.44 ERA and is still making eight million dollars a season.
His 33 complete games are third among active pitchers—teammate Roy Halladay has 54, and Washington’s Livan Hernandez sits at 48.
Each preseason fantasy owners go through their “sleeper” picks. Each season, owners bypass Moyer because they think this will be the year he stops becoming a dependable option.
“If I can contribute this year in a healthy way in innings, I’m going to want to continue to play,” Moyer told radio host Dan Patrick on May 1st.
Moyer said he could see himself pitching into his fifties.
This means a few more seasons of bypassing Moyer in the 20th round. And a few more seasons of trying to solve the life mystery that is Jamie Moyer.