Just a bit of news first: Charlie Manuel announced after the game that J.A. Happ will start one of the two games Saturday. Before the game, Ruben Amaro Jr. told me that the decision might not come for several days, but when Happ pitched just 2/3 inning tonight rather than hang around for mopup, the Phils tipped their hand. Of course, they could change that plan if Happ is needed for more innings tomorrow or Friday.
You may be freakin about Jamie Moyer, but the man himself and his manager say they are not. “I don’t see how he can get right sitting,” said Charlie Manuel, when asked if he planned to keep running Moyer out there.
Moyer was obviously downcast after the game, but said he would continue to look ahead and try to make improvements. My analysis is that it isn’t time to do anything drastic with him. He has a two-year contract, couldn’t pitch in the bullpen (and if you believe he can, Rich Dubee doesn’t; so that’s probably that unless the pitching coach is overruled), and could still work this out. It’s always easy to get alarmed and pessimistic in the moment, after your team or the team you root for has a rough night.
Having said that, neither I, you, Moyer or anyone else knows if or when he’ll improve. He possesses the competitive arrogance necessary for professional athletes, and said tonight, “If I start to doubt, then it is time for me to go home. I don’t really worry about what’s behind me.”
Reading between the lines: I still think I can pitch; I’ll let you know when that changes.
And that’s all I can really say. If the grizzled pitcher and the grizzlier manager don’t know what’s going on, I sure as heck don’t.