History will have to wait at least one more start for Jamie Moyer to become the oldest pitcher to win a regular season game. Moyer left his start against the Giants today in the 6th inning trailing 4-0. Moyer scattered 8 hits across 5.2 innings, dealing 112 pitches and giving up four earned runs. Moyer also collected three more strikeouts against one walk, bringing his career K total to 2,410.
For the rest of the sports world, this is all about the chase of history. As everybody else in the sports media world is getting on the Jamie Moyer bandwagon, I would like to remind you all that we here at Dubsism have been your home of all things Jamie Moyer for two years now. So, as they are just getting into the Jamie Moyer “Fact of the Day,” they are just “Johnny-Come-Latelys” to the wonder that is Moyer pitching in the majors at age 49.
Even though the whole “Moyer Fact” thing is getting a wee bit out of control, I’m not quitting because I was the first. Even after Moyer ultimately breaks the record, Dubsism will continue to be you home for all things Moyer. You know that once Moyer becomes the oldest pitcher to win a regular season game, the rest of the media will break their ankles jumping off the bandwagon. This is exactly why those blowdries at ESPN can mark off an acre of the fattest part of my ass and kiss away. The Moyer story is tremendous for far more more than his age. There’s actually three reasons why this is such a great story. There’s how long he’s pitched, there’s how he pitches, and there’s the fact he’s doing it at an age when many people become grandparents.
When I first saw Moyer pitching for the Cubs in 1986, I thought I could hit .300 off him. A lot of major-leaguers thought that as well…and they were wrong. After 25 seasons in the bigs, Moyer has an opponent’s batting average of.267, which is only four points higher than the major league average for that same statistic during that same quarter-century. That’s the true wonder of the “ageless wonder;” when he pitches, the ball looks as big as a pumpkin and floats like its full of helium, but you can rarely get the fat part of the bat on it.
People talk about “throwbacks;” guys who harken back to a previous era. Moyer would fit perfectly in the “dead ball” era; his fastball is a change-up, and his change-up is a marshmallow. He’s the last non-Amish horse-and-buggy out there; he’s a rotary dial phone in a cellular world.
At 49 years old, when he was at the plate for his at-bats today, he looked one of those fantasy camp guys. Yet, people have been giving up on Moyer for two decades now. When he was 29, he pitched like he was 49. When he was 29, the Cubs offered Moyer a coaching job when it appeared his pitching days were over. When he was 29 in 1992, no one pictured Moyer still pitching twenty years later unless it was in beer-league softball. Moyer led the National League in earned runs allowed in his first full season, at 24. In his 20’s, Moyer had five straight losing seasons.
But what most people don’t realize is Moyer actually started turning back time some time ago. In 1996 and ’97, he was a combined 30-8. In 2001, he was 20-6. In 2003, he was 21-7…at age 40. When he signed with Boston in 1996, he was 33 years old and had a career mark of 59-76. Moyer has made at least 25 starts each season from ages 34 to 46. In his 30’s and 40’s combined, Moyer has had only had three losing campaigns. He is now 267-206.
Now, for the aforementioned Jamie Moyer facts for today:
- Moyer is the oldest pitcher to have two starts in a season
- Today marked Moyer’s 630th start
- Today marked Moyer’s 688th appearance
- Today, Moyer hit his 145th batter
- According to Elias Sports Bureau: Moyer at 49 years old and Madison Bumgarner at 22 years old represented the largest age gap for a pitching matchup since 59-year-old Satchel Paige faced 29-year-old Bill Monbouquette on September 25, 1965.
Moyer’s next start is scheduled to be at home on Tuesday in Colorado against the San Diego Padres.