Houston, TX, USA; (editor's note: this image was created using multiple exposures) Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jamie Moyer pitches against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park. . Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
Looking for "oldest player to..." things about Jamie Moyer? You won't find them here, just a tribute to a man who completed a remarkable comeback on Saturday.
Oh, come on, Al. You're not really going to start this feature with the same crutch that every single mainstream sportswriter seems to be using, are you?
Actually, no, I'm not. It's too cliché. Pretty much all of you know all the "oldest" things already, so instead, I'm going to tell you about how Moyer proved he still belongs in the major leagues. In throwing five credible innings (69 pitches, 42 strikes, three earned runs, just one walk), he kept his team in the game. Granted, he allowed two home runs -- one to Jordan Schafer to lead off the game and another to J.D. Martinez -- but that's something Moyer has done throughout his career and still had success. He's the all-time leader in home runs allowed (513 and counting), and as the, um, "old" saying goes, "You have to be good to do that." If Moyer hadn't been very good for many years, he wouldn't have stuck around long enough to set that record.
Moyer threw only two of his 69 pitches at 80 miles per hour. Even so, he registered two strikeouts, one a called K on a nasty 79-mile-per-hour sinker to Brian Bogusevic. He almost certainly could have gone longer, but manager Jim Tracy pinch-hit for him in the sixth inning, trying to generate some offense in a game where the Astros' Lucas Harrell had stymied the normally very good Rockies hitters.
Compared to some big-name pitchers making their first start of 2012 (Josh Beckett, for example, who gave up seven earned runs to the Tigers and didn't make it out of the fifth inning, or Tim Lincecum, who served up two home runs in the first inning of his 2012 debut Friday against the Diamondbacks, or Yovani Gallardo, who allowed three home runs in the first inning of Friday's Brewers opener against the Cardinals), Moyer completed a successful comeback from Tommy John surgery just by taking the mound. Sure, the Astros are probably the worst team in the National League and Moyer hasn't made a start in Coors Field yet (as of now, his first outing there as a Rockie is scheduled for Thursday afternoon against the Giants), but Moyer's outing had to please his manager and the Rockies' front office, for taking a chance on...
... an old guy. There, I said it. Found on a friend's Facebook profile (and not sure exactly how to credit this, or to whom), here's my favorite current "old guy" fact about 49-year-old Jamie Moyer:
Jamie Moyer has pitched to 8.9 percent of all players to ever make an MLB plate appearance. (Roughly 1,400 of 16,000.)
He'll add to that total on Thursday, presuming he faces San Francisco's Brandon Crawford. Congratulations, Jamie Moyer, on your comeback. Here's hoping you stick around for a while yet.