The Phillies pushed Jamie Moyer into semi-retirement a year ago with the addition of Pedro Martinez, a change that brought out the best in their pitching staff and extended Moyer’s battery life (until he ruptured his groin). Would they do it again? (AP Photo)
In yesterday's poll, the back end of the rotation was the least of readers' concerns, earning just six percent of the vote among the top five second-half roadblocks. But one wonders if this was the type of outing Phillies GM Ruben Amaro has in mind when he sends his men to scout starting pitching and keeps giving Pedro’s agent a courtesy call. That's not to say that Moyer hasn't been among the season's best achievers, because he has. But he's part of a group that has logged the most innings by a rotation in all of baseball, and at 47, he’s pitching now in the most brutal of months. Last night Moyer just couldn’t locate; he allowed six runs on five hits, including two long homers, and quite tellingly, two hit batsmen when he was ahead in the count. He was gone after three innings, making it two stinkers in a row. In his previous start against the Braves, the wheels came off in a hurry in a six-run sixth.
In his defense, his unsightly 4.88 ERA is inflated by about a half dozen games or even innings like this. Still, there was something to be said about the way the rotation worked a year ago. The Phillies brought in a fresh-bodied Pedro and moved Moyer into a sixth starter role, assigned to double-headers, emergency starts, rain delays and routs, and it seemed to extend Moyer's season while giving the team a good boost.
Readers: “Werth has just been abysmal. Both he and Vic are the two main people actively hurting this offense. They ended up scoring 6 runs (mainly thanks to Howard), but it was a pretty rough night at the plate for most of the team.” – Iceman
“I have to keep reminding myself that, except for his doubles (which are way up) and homeruns (which are significantly down), Werth's overall numbers are almost exactly the same as last year. I also keep having to remind myself that he hasn't really been slumping since April; he actually had a big June. I think the reason it seems like he has been slumping forever is because he's hitting an astonishingly bad .169 with RISP, and he has exactly 2 RBIs in his last 17 games.” – bay_area_phan