Jamie Moyer, whose odometer passed 4,000 innings, added another collector’s item to his mantle, as the Phillies ended interleague play with an 11-2 victory and a blissful 10-8 mark overall.
Every fifth game marks another occasion to explain the unexplainable. And as long as Moyer’s motor keeps cackling, we’re happy to oblige. Much has been made Moyer setting the all-time home runs allowed mark, but all one needs to know about Moyer this season can be summed up with two numbers: 7.8 and 1.6. That’s hits-per-nine and walks-per-nine, and both, essentially, match career bests. He has a better WHIP than Roy Halladay, who typically ranks among the league leaders, and just as many wins. The 47-year-old has been deadly accurate since the Red Sox knocked his block off in Boston. Statistically, it wasn’t his best effort, but considering the heat, the lapses in the field and Toronto’s firepower, it might have been.
Offensively, the Phillies’ tediously constructed lineup took advantage of Toronto’s mistakes, plating six unearned runs. Take away Shaun Marcum’s Saturday clinic and the Phils have scored 39 runs in four games. Ben Francisco, making the case for more playing time, went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Top-of-the-order table-setter Jimmy Rollins and middle-of-the-order table-setter Shane Victorino each had three hits.
Think about where the Phillies were a year ago. They were 38-34 compared to 40-33 in 2010. They were ending a painful 6-12 stretch in interleague, including a 1-8 homestand against Boston, Toronto and Baltimore. Here, they conclude what is essentially a nine-game homestand with a 6-3 mark to finish 10-8 against the American League.
If the May-June swoon hadn’t been so severe, and if the Braves and Mets hadn’t gotten hot at exactly the same time, it would be easier to see the meaninglessness of third place on June 28.