MLB

Rocky debut for Colorado's Jamie Moyer

Houston's J.D. Martinez talks about the Astros' 7-3 win over the Rockies and Moyer.
Houston's J.D. Martinez talks about the Astros' 7-3 win over the Rockies and Moyer.
Share This Story

Tracy Ringolsby

Tracy Ringolsby is a Hall of Fame baseball writer. He is in his 37th year covering Major League Baseball, is a co-founder of Baseball America, and is in his fourth year as pregame and postgame analyst for Colorado Rockies games on Root Sports.

MORE>>
 
   
 

HOUSTON

Jamie Moyer made baseball history, pitching his way into the Colorado Rockies rotation and becoming the oldest starting pitcher to make an Opening Day roster.

FOX Fantasy Baseball
FOX FANTASY BASEBALL
Sign up today for FOX Fantasy Baseball. It's fun, easy and 100% free.
JOIN OR CREATE A LEAGUE TODAY!»

The 49-year-old left-hander is not impressed.

He did not spend the past 22 months rehabbing from Tommy John surgery to become a trivia answer. His intent is to be a contributing member of a big-league rotation and help the Rockies in the NL West race. Better luck next time.

Moyer made his Rockies debut with a decent but deficient effort in Colorado’s 7-3 loss to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Saturday night.

Physically, he felt fine, the legs holding up without the slightest gimp, and mentally he was recharged, back on a big-league field again.

“It is,” he said, “a place I love being.”

He will be there again Thursday afternoon, facing the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field, looking to make amends for the game against the Astros.

“As a pitcher, you’ve got to pitch,’’ Moyer said. "You’ve got to go out and do your job. I put us behind the 8-ball the first hitter of the game. …. It’s about our team. It’s about us winning.’’

And that, the Rockies first loss of the season, is what ate at Moyer, who at 49 years, 141 days old, became the second oldest pitcher in major league history to start a game, behind only Satchel Paige. Paige was 59 years, 80 days old when he was given a three-inning cameo by the Kansas City A’s back on Sept. 25, 1965.

Paige got that start as part of a September signing that allowed Paige to vest in the baseball pension plan.

Moyer got his start with the Rockies because he earned a spot in the rotation with his efforts in the spring.

In his regular-season Rockies debut Moyer was decent, but Houston right-hander Lucas Harrell was better. Yeah, that Lucas Harrell, who was one year and 13 days old when Moyer made his big-league debut on June 16, 1986, for the Chicago Cubs by beating Hall of Famer Steve Carlton and the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-5, at Wrigley Field.

Chatwood

ONE OF A KIND

Look back at the amazing, vivid life of pitching great Satchel Paige.

While Harrell was shutting out the Rockies for seven innings, chalking up 14 of 21 outs on ground balls and four others with strikeouts, Moyer was battling not only Astros batters, but also his own defense, departing after five innings charged with four runs, one of which was unearned.

There was that home run to open the bottom of the first by Jordan Schafer, who was born 80 days after Moyer’s big-league debut, and then a two-run shot in the fourth by J.D. Martinez, born one year, 66 days after Moyer’s debut. Schafer put down a squeeze to score Marwin Gonzalez, who led off the fifth with a double off Moyer, whose debut came three years, 271 days before Gonzalez’s birth.

"Physically, I feel outstanding,’’ he said. "That’s a good sign for me. I think my last outing in spring training I threw just over 100 pitches, so I felt very strong. I’m pleased with that side of it.’’

That, however, doesn’t overshadow the loss, the 205th of his career.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy took it in stride.

"I don’t think he pitched badly at all,’’ Tracy said. "Jamie gave us a competitive effort.’’

That’s not what Moyer was looking for though. With his first win this season he will become the oldest pitcher to win a big-league game, but as he quickly explained during the spring, “I’m not out here to win one game. I’m out here to help my team win games.”

And the Rockies are convinced he can do that with an assortment of pitches that can best be described as slow and slower. He hit 80 mph with only one of the 69 pitches he threw against the Astros, bottoming out at 67 mph. He was consistently in the upper 70s, hitting 78 or 79 mph with 34 pitches.

It, however, is not about velocity for Moyer. It never has been.

TOMMY JOHN SUCCESSES

See which pitchers made a comeback after baseball's famous surgery.

“No use worrying about radar guns when he’s pitching,” said Detroit scout Dick Egan, a member of the Texas Rangers coaching staff in 1988, when the Rangers acquired Moyer from the Cubs. “What he does is he pitches. It’s a craft with him. You don’t come ahead over-awed by what you see. You come away impressed by the job he does.”

On this night, though, Moyer wasn’t impressed.

And he wasn’t using the Minute Maid Park as an alibi.

“I don’t play the ballpark game,’’ he said. “A home run is a home run. It really doesn’t matter to me. I’ve just got to make better pitches in key situations.”

Moyer has, after all, given up a major league record 513 home runs. It was the 135th time in his career that he’s given up multiple home runs in a game. Schafer and Martinez became the 325th and 326th different players to hit home runs off him.

As far as Tracy is concerned, others will get a chance to add their name to that list, too.

“We’ll move forward with Jamie,’’ Tracy said.

And Moyer welcomes the opportunity.

Tagged: Astros, Rockies, Jamie Moyer, Jordan Schafer, Lucas Harrell

More Stories From Tracy Ringolsby

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Your first half MVP's are... Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Jon Paul Morosi is joined by Eno Sarris and Joe Hamrahi to discuss the best play...

Joey Gallo Wins Futures Game MVP Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Futures game MVP Joey Gallo tells JP Morosi about his clutch home run and why he...

Your first half Cy Young award winners are... Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Jon Paul Morosi is joined by Eno Sarris and Joe Hamrahi to discuss the best MLB ...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..