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June 2, 2009

Moyer gets to 250...finally

In what was his sixth attempt to achieve the milestone, Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer locked down win Number 250 Sunday night in Philadelphia against the Washington Nationals.

"I really wasn't concerned about how many attempts,” the 46 year-old told reporters following the game. “I was concerned about creating consistency with myself.”

But it wasn’t until 1996 when Boston traded him (and his 66-77 career mark) to Seattle that Moyer created that consistency.

You see, the Mariners became the sixth team for the lefty and having been released twice by Texas and once by St. Louis, no one would have ever pegged him as baseball’s 46th 250 game winner…much less a future Hall of Famer.

Yeah, I said it…we might be looking at a guy who could take up residency in Cooperstown.

Fourteen seasons with double digit wins is pretty remarkable considering all but one were achieved after the age of 30. And of the 45 pitchers with more victories, only Phil Niekro (17), Nolan Ryan (14) and Gaylord Perry (14) had more double-digit seasons after they turned 30.

What about the 10 other lefties with more than 250 wins?

All but four (Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Tommy John and Jim Kaat) are in the Hall of Fame. Glavine (with 305 wins) and Johnson (299) will get there and you certainly can make a case for John and Kaat making it in someday courtesy of Veterans Committee.

And if you don't think 250 wins is impressive, after Moyer, there are only two other active pitchers with more than 200 wins…Andy Pettitte (220) and John Smoltz (210). You've gotta 250 wins the new 300?

The biggest knocks against Moyer would be his career ERA of 4.22, lack of strikeouts (only 2278 in 3800 innings pitched) and little to no hardware in his trophy case. But when you throw out the high ERA and compare his career numbers to the averages of the 67 pitchers in Cooperstown, he fits.

So how much longer can Moyer play?

His body doesn’t really seem to show the signs of letting up. I mean, let’s face it, even though he was never a fireballer, he was consistent...and there have been plenty of pitchers (especially lefties) who, as long as they can find the strike zone, will find a job.

Does he have a shot at surpassing Hall of Famer Bob Feller (266), Jim Palmer (268) and Fergie Jenkins (284) on the all-time wins list? And if he does, will he suffer the same fate as Kaat, John and Bert Blyleven and watch the Hall of Fame induction from home?

So let me know…does Moyer have what it takes to get enshrined? I’m on the fence (hedging toward “no”) when you look at the big picture, but when you consider those he pitched against…you could do much, much worse.

BallHype: hype it up!

1 comment:

E said...

I would hope a guy who's been pitching since I was in middle school would be able to get 250 wins.

That was 20 years ago, for Christ's sake!