Let's not beat around the bush, Jamie Moyer is on hard drive time. You know, the old hard drive keeps humming along, saving this, storing that, bringing up whatever. From time to time you wonder how it keeps on keepin' on but you just boot the baby up and don't ask questions. Then, one day, it just ups and dies. No warning. No flashing signal. No hard drive.
As I settled onto the couch last night to watch the frigid proceedings at Citizens Bank Park, I listened as Harry, Chris and Tom discussed, among other things, Moyer's amazing career and less than stellar Spring. Earlier in the evening on DNL, an emailer wondered if the wind was blowing out toward centerfield by game time, would Moyer's pitches even reach home plate. LOL.
When Moyer took the throw from third baseman Pedro Feliz at the end of his warmups and the traditional throw down to second and around the horn, I wondered how he would start off the first batter. Can't throw the change, I said to myself; nothing to change up from when it's the first pitch of the game. He's probably going to try and sneak a "fastball" by the first batter. KABOOM! Looked like the Braves' Kelly Johnson was thinking the same thing.
From the point on things deteriorated. Moyer didn't have it and the Braves scored four quick runs. It didn't help matters that the Phils bats were still in storage as they were shutout, but that 4-0 hole was a deep one to climb out of.
I know, Phillies fans are quick to find fault. Two games, for crissakes! They've still got 160 to go and we're already complaining. Well, here are the problems:
1. Their opening day pitcher is erratic in the best of times.
2. Their number two pitcher of the season, actually their number 3 or 4 starter in a perfect progression, is on hard drive time.
3. Their number one pitcher isn't on the shelf, but he is being watched closely for signs his remarkable sophomore year and post-season will have proved costly.
4. Their number 3 or 4 pitcher, depending on how item number 2 settles out, may have to be the backbone of the rotation; and,
5. Their number five starter is really a reclamation project.
Welcome to 2009.