MILWAUKEE – Game-time temperature was 65 degrees under the dome here at Miller Park and it was a rather brisk 54 degrees outdoors. Apparently, the closed lid makes this ballpark extra loud, which was part of the reason why Charlie Manuel tabbed Jamie Moyer to start.
Another reason why Manuel wanted Moyer to start was because Moyer had a 2.92 ERA in 17 starts on the road. Still another reason is because the wily old lefty wins clinchers.
Since joining the Phillies, veteran starting pitcher Jamie Moyer has be the team’s default clinching game pitcher. Last season he was the winning pitcher in the final game in which the team locked up the NL East title and a week later he started the decisive Game 3 of the NLDS in Colorado.
Last week Moyer took the win in the NL East-clinching game again and will have a chance to nail down another win in an elimination game when he goes up against Bush on Saturday night.
But if one believes Moyer gets excited or particularly wound up for pitching in those types of big games, guess again.
Every game is important, according to Moyer.
“I honestly try not to think of any situation I’m in – whether it’s spring training, regular season or post-season – as any different type of game,” Moyer said on Friday afternoon at Miller Park. “… so when you do get into the postseason, you don’t try to turn it into something that it’s really not. It’s still a baseball game. The game tomorrow is no different than the game two months ago or three months ago.”
The Phillies went down in order in the first when Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth whiffed and Chase Utley bounced harmlessly back to the pitcher. Against righty Dave Bush, the Phils saw 10 pitches and eight of them were strikes.
Moyer, meanwhile, threw five straight balls to start the game, including two or three that probably would have been strikes with a different umpire than Brian Runge. After the fifth one, catcher Carlos Ruiz trotted out to the mound while Moyer composed himself and went back to work. However, eight pitches later Bill Hall drew a second straight walk.
A wild pitch and a full-count pop out against Ryan Braun got Moyer his first out and a sac fly vs. Prince Fielder got him out No. 2 and run No. 1 for the Brewers.
Clearly it seems as if Moyer is getting pinched on some calls by home-plate ump Runge. At the same time, he got a few low and outside pitches to righties. But a two-out, RBI single by J.J. Hardy made the pitcher pay for those back-to-back walks.
End of 1: Brewers 2, Phillies 0