This Old Guy?

In this reading of the script from the film Big Daddy, the Philadelphia Phillies will play the role of Vanessa and the Atlanta Braves will play the role of Sonny.

Vanessa: Sonny, that’s what I was trying to tell you before: I found someone.

Sonny: This old guy?

Vanessa: He’s already achieved so much and yet he’s still goal-oriented and still focused. He has a five-year plan.

Sonny: What is it? “Don’t die”? I can’t believe this shit.

(Skip 35 seconds into the video.)

Jamie Moyer gave the Phillies a Halladaysian performance tonight, pitching all nine innings en route to a two-hit complete game shut-out of the milquetoast Atlanta Braves offense (and yet, still an offense envied by the Houston Astros). Troy Glaus was the only Brave to notch a hit off of Moyer, getting two of them in three at-bats. The rest of the Braves lineup, particularly Chipper Jones and Nate McLouth, were baffled by the left-hander’s ability to hit his spots and mix speeds effectively.

Meanwhile, the Phillies were able to provide more than enough offense to back Moyer against Derek Lowe. In 75 and one-third career innings against them, Lowe held the Phillies in check with a 2.87 ERA and a 2.6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Lowe, however, had been ineffective in his previous 33 innings in 2010.

The Phillies mounted offensive threats in the first and second innings but squandered them due to an aggressive approach and Lowe’s ability to induce ground balls. In the third inning, Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco made for two quick outs, but Chase Utley kept the inning alive with a tennis-like back-handed single to left that left Lowe visibly frustrated. Ryan Howard smoked a single to right field to bring Jayson Werth to the plate with runners on first and second and two out. As if to repeat what he did yesterday, Werth did not disappoint as he drove a Lowe offering over the left-field fence to put the Phillies on the board 3-0.

The game was put out of reach in the fifth when the Phillies loaded the bases with two outs for Raul Ibanez. Ibanez hit a line drive that had enough backspin to sink before left fielder Matt Diaz could get leather on it. Wilson Valdez drove in the sixth and seventh runs with a single up the middle, officially ending Lowe’s night.

As the Phillies were scoring runs, Moyer was economically holding the Braves at bay. Between the two singles off the bat of Troy Glaus in the second and eighth innings, Moyer retired 18 consecutive Braves. In the ninth inning, he retired the Braves in order — including old friend Eric Hinske — to become the oldest pitcher in baseball history to toss a CG SHO at 47 years and 170 days old.

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  1. Sophist

    May 07, 2010 10:56 PM

    I noticed that Short’s Game Score is equal to that of a 27 SO perfect game. Is this a “problem” with the metric or are they equal? Or does it just not matter? Seems like the two may not be commensurable.

  2. Bill Baer

    May 07, 2010 11:42 PM

    Game score isn’t a statistic you want to rely on for more than surface analysis. It’s a quick and dirty way to compare starting pitching performances.

    You can definitely find less “lucky” pitching gems. Jamie’s 5 strikeouts are probably among the lowest in a CG SHO because hitters are expected to get 6-7 hits when 22 balls are put in play.

  3. Sophist

    May 08, 2010 08:17 AM

    Yeah, it is interesting to compare his outing with Halladay’s CGSO of the Braves from earlier in the season. Halladay allowed 3 more hits on 23 balls in play. He had the same number of strikes in the game but Moyer got 7 more from foul balls (Doc had 4 more called strikes and 2 more swinging; 2 more K). Halladay induced 15 GB to Moyer’s 9; 5 FB to Moyer’s 13. Some of those FB were lazy, some were not, but defense plays a larger role in Jamie’s starts.

  4. Nathan

    May 08, 2010 09:27 AM

    I count Moyer’s game score as 88. Am I forgetting part of the formula? 50 + 27 for outs + 10 for innings + 5 for strikeouts – 4 for hits = 88. Still great, though.

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