Death, taxes and Jamie Moyer over the Marlins.
If you are sitting in the Marlins' dugout when Moyer takes the mound for the Phils you know doubt hear it from all the old hands on board: be patient; wait for your pitch; make him throw strikes. And then you go out there and take the first pitch just off the plate for a called strike and you tell yourself, self, if they're gonna' give him that one I'm swinging away. And then he's got you. It's really just that simple: age taking advantage of impetuous youth. Happens every time.
What also seems to happen virtually every time Moyer faces the Fish is that his mates score a lot of runs on his behalf. Yesterday was the first laugher of the season. The Phils jumped out early and just kept piling it on. By the end of the game the Marlins were using a position player to pitch in relief. Naturally, he acquitted himself well, which is why position players invariably get mop up duty in blowouts.
While the Phils were winning, the upstart Marlins, who a week ago were the talk of the division if not the league, lost for the sixth straight time to fall back to earth with a thud! The Braves and the Mets weren't faring a whole lot better as the Phils moved above .500 and into sole possession of second place. Not bad for a team whose starting pitching has been pretty awful most of the season; whose sparkplug has been misfiring so badly he sat out his second game of the season, seventeen games into it; whose closer is all over the place; and whose batters have been very erratic overall.
If they get the act together, especially the starting rotation, the Phils could begin to put some distance between themselves and their closer rivals. One good sign from yesterday's victory was that for the first time all season, the Phillies did not surrender a home run to the opposition.
A week from now we should get some idea of just how much of a killer instinct they have when the Mets come to town. In the meantime, the Phils have three games against the Nationals, whom they should handle easily. Somehow, they never do.