While his signing was viewed as a novelty act, Moyer has been the Rockies' best starting pitcher this season. He didn't walk clumsily into history against San Diego, instead embracing it with pitches on the corners and at all different speeds. Moyer worked seven innings, allowing no earned runs on six hits. His lone strikeout victim was Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin, who swung so hard he fell to his knees in the sixth inning.
"I kind of wish I was a baseball historian, and I am a little embarrassed that I don't know more about it," Moyer said. "To have my name mentioned with the greats of the past is special."
Well, it's not exactly like Jack Quinn's a household name; the spitballer once went 9-22 in a Federal League season, finished his career with 247 wins, and topped out with nine Hall of Fame votes.*
* If you want know more about Jack Quinn, here's an excellent profile via the SABR BioProject.
Anyway, I can't hold anything against Moyer for not being a baseball historian. He's spent the last 25 years studying hitters, and it's hard to argue that he should have been spending that time studying anything else.
I never really thought of Moyer as a novelty act; the Rockies seemed at least moderately serious about contending this season, and management couldn't have imagined that Moyer's spring-training tryout would goose season-ticket sales or something. I think their starting pitching was somewhat thin, and they just figured what the hell. And yes, baseball people do love a good story. Maybe management just wanted to be close in case Moyer really could still pitch.
I didn't think he could still pitch. Not well enough, anyway. But yes, he (arguably) has been the Rockies' best starting pitcher this season. Granted, the Rockies' starting pitchers have been terrible. Moyer's ERA is now 2.55; the next-best ERA among the starters is Jhoulys Chacin's 5.63.
But Moyer has struck out six batters in 17⅔ innings. It's difficult to succeed that way. But if Moyer keeps the ball down -- I mean, really keeps the ball down -- it's possible.