The Phillies lost again last night, their third in a row and their second in a row to the lowly interstate rival Pirates, who can take the season series with a win tonight. It was a depressing L, due somewhat predictably to an offensive production outage--one easily blamed on the fact that half the starting lineup was out (three injured guys plus a night-off Victorino), but one no easier to watch for the explanation. The Phils are now five games out of first and are likely looking forward to the All-Star Break as much as anyone.
Guaranteed to be lost in the shuffle of last night's blahdom with the bats was yet another superlative start from one Jamie Moyer, who is quickly becoming one of the nice stories of an otherwise muck-mired first half of the 2010 season. Jamie let up two runs (one earned, though the other his own fault as a fielder) in six innings, and likely could have gone scoreless altogether if not for a couple of accidentally-effective swinging bunts in the fourth. But most impressively, Jamie set a season high for strikeouts with eight, just one start after fanning seven Blue Jays back at CBP.
Noting that Jamie's generally non-overpowering stuff does not often lend itself to high K numbers, it got us to thinking--how long has it been since Jamie struck out seven or more guys in consecutive starts?
If you had told me he hadn't done it before while he'd been with the Phils, I doubt I would have been terribly surprised--I can barely remember one game in his tenure in the Red and White where Jamie sent that many opposing players back to their dugout, let alone two in a row. But man, while I was thumbing through his game logs, I figured he must've done it in the year or two before that, or at least at some point during his halcyon days in Seattle.
Mais non--one must travel a full seventeen years, all the way back to his days as a 30-year-old pup in the Baltimore Orioles' rotation, to find the last time Jamie reached the lucky seven in back-to-back outings. Facing the Seattle Mariners on August 18th, Moyer K'd eight in an 8-1 win, and six days later, he punched out seven against the then-California Angels, both in winning performances. Since then, Shaquille O'Neal has played his entire NBA career, six Leprechaun movies have been released, and Green Day has gone from singing about masturbating on their couch to producing their own Broadway musical. So if you don't think the Ageless Wonder is just getting started, I really don't know what to tell ya.
Thus endeth your weekly "Jamie Moyer is awesome and can probably beat up your dad" reminder. Expect several more before the season is up.