Monday, May 5, 2008

Moyer Demonstrates Success to Scherzer

The big story surrounding this game was the first major league start for Arizona's stud prospect, 23-year old Max Scherzer. 45-year old Jamie Moyer decided to show him what it takes to last as he allowed two runs in seven innings and the Phillies won 11-4.

Scherzer fell into an early hole, as Shane Victorino led off the game with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Howard. The hole filled pretty quickly, as Chris Snyder scored on a Stephen Drew triple in the second, but the Phillies made sure that wouldn't last for long by scoring four runs in the third, including an RBI double by none other than Jamie Moyer. Moyer had already singled back in the second, giving him the first multi-game hit of his career.

As if enough damage weren't already done, Eric Bruntlett hit a bases clearing triple in the seventh, and Ryan Howard singled Bruntlett home, making the score 9-1. In the bottom of the seventh, Moyer's last inning of work, Chris Snyder hit a solo shot, but the Phillies got that run back in the top of the eighth as Pedro Feliz scored on a Greg Dobbs sacrifice fly. The Phillies would get one more run in the ninth as Chase Utley scored on a throwing error by Mark Reynolds to first base. The D'backs started off looking like a rally might be possible in the ninth as Miguel Montero, Justin Upton, and Reynolds would lead off the inning with hits, but they would only get two more runs off of Clay Condrey as Montero scored on a throwing error by Geoff Jenkins, and Reynolds scored on a fielders choice grounder by Chris Burke. The Phillies avoided giving up a third run as Pedro Feliz threw out Upton at home plate.

Moyer had his longest outing of the season and struck out five batters. His opponent, nearly half his age, allowed five runs in four innings, also striking out five. Scherzer looked like he had some pretty good stuff, not to mention he threw as high as 98 mph, but as soon as he got to the second and third time around the batting order it looked like the Phillies had figured him out. Meanwhile, Moyer only threw as high as the low 80's, but the D'backs never quite figured him out, except Chris Snyder seemed to get him a little. Once again, Moyer was able to prove that craftiness can always work whether or not the speed is there. Scherzer should be an interesting player to see develop, but he's got a lot to learn.

What was good offensively for the Phils is that the bottom of the lineup became very scary, something that was supposed to be a strength for the team all year. the 6-7-8 hitters (Jenkins, Feliz, Carlos Ruiz) scored as many runs as the 1-2-3 hitters (perhaps slightly less impressive considering that Bruntlett was number two, though Bruntlett has been quite good as of late). If the bottom of the lineup can produce like that then the team will be even scarier offensively than they were last year. The only player who seemed unable to figure out Scherzer was Pat Burrell, but the way he's been hitting, he could afford to take a night off. As long as it doesn't lead to the start of a slump.

This game (minus Clay Condrey's ninth inning) seemed like the realization of this team's potential. Everyone in the offense was dangerous, the starting pitching was good, the bullpen (minus Condrey) was lights out, and they simply crushed the other team. The rest of this series against the D'backs should be much harder, as they have to face Randy Johnson, Micah Owings, and the seemingly unbeatable Brandon Webb, but to beat the Snakes at home is no small feat.

1 comment:

Brian Raab said...

Moyer's RBI was the tenth of his career. It took him 22 seasons, but he finally cracked double digits, so congratulations to him.

Maybe Burrell was thrown off by Scherzer's different colored eyes.