Friday, July 16, 2010

Not a Good Night for Old Starting Pitchers

There is angst tonight for the older generation. Two pitchers who are at least within fighting distance in age with baby boomers across America are the only players in Major League Baseball that the older generation can still relate to. They may be the only players in baseball who might know who Johnny Carson was. Oops! Can't forget Omar Vicquel, who is 43. But both Jamie Moyer and Tim Wakefield were wrecked tonight and for each, it was the second such performance in succession.

Both Wakefield and Moyer pitch for proud contenders that are fighting for their lives in their respective divisions. Both teams are behind by more than a couple of games and both have a couple of teams ahead of them in the standings. The Phillies and the Red Sox can ill afford to have games where they don't have a chance at winning and that doesn't bode well for our aging heroes.

Moyer and Kendrick have basically battled for the same rotation spot all season and the Red Sox will have Beckett and Buchholz back shortly which might cost Wakefield his rotation spot. In some respects, Moyer has had a remarkable season as his WHIP, his BB/9 are the best in a very long time. But he's also given up 1.74 homers per nine innings with his 22 so far this year. There is some debate as to Moyer's Hall of Fame possibilities. He's now given up 511 homers in his career, which means that he's the reverse Mel Ott. Moyer's two bad outings in a row have pushed is ERA up to 4.88. How long will the Phillies stick with the 47 year old marvel.

Wakefield has looked older this season to this observer. He doesn't move as well off the mound and he looks creaky. But his pitching stats are pretty much in line with last year. In fact, they are nearly identical. But last year's efforts landed him with an 11-5 record. This year he is now 3-8 and his ERA is up to 5.65, which is the only number that is much higher than last year.

While this isn't an obituary by any means, both pitchers have had two straight bad outings and that is cause for alarm.

But the news isn't all bad. The 40 year old Billy Wagner pitched another perfect ninth for another save. Chipper Jones, who is a baby compared to the others mentioned in this post, hit a game winning homer. The 43 year old, Omar Vizguel, went two for four.

But then again, Jose Contreras, who may be or may not be 39, gave up five earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

Other than the giving up the gopher ball, Moyer has really had a fine season.