DENVER (AP) – The Arizona Diamondbacks struggled to touch Jamie Moyer on the mound or when he was hustling down the baseline.
The 49-year-old Moyer mowed through the Diamondbacks lineup, keeping them off balance and waving at his 78 mph fastball. He lasted 6 1-3 innings and surrendered just six hits to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 6-1 win over the reeling Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
But Moyer (2-3) may have done more to help the Rockies with his legs than his crafty left arm.
With two on and two outs in the fourth inning, Moyer turned on a fastball, dribbling the ball between first base and the mound. He sprinted up the line – or as much as he can on nearly 50-year-old wheels – and managed to avoid the lunging tag of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
That scored Jordan Pacheco along with Dexter Fowler, who was motoring on contact from second base. The two RBIs tied Moyer’s career high, which he previously set on June 8, 2004, when he was with the Seattle Mariners.
It also extended the Rockies’ lead to 5-0 – more than enough of a cushion for Moyer.
“Thought I got a piece of him,” Goldschmidt said of his attempted tag of Moyer.
First base umpire Jim Reynolds didn’t quite see it that way and replays were inconclusive.
“Things happened against us tonight that you don’t want to happen, you don’t expect to happen,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “But they do and we were unable to overcome it.”
The Diamondbacks have dropped four of their last five games. Asked if he might shake things up, Gibson quickly dismissed the question.
“If we felt that would be the case, I think we would do that,” Gibson said. “I’m not sure we have a resolution on what we might want to do at this point.”
Most of the damage done Wednesday was by the bottom of Colorado’s lineup. Pacheco, Fowler and Moyer went a combined 6 for 9 with five RBIs. Fowler finished a homer shy of the cycle.
“Fowler, he’s been tough for us,” Gibson said. “He’s always hit us well.”
There was an age difference of 26 years and 243 days between Moyer and Patrick Corbin (2-2), the fourth-largest gap between starting pitchers in baseball history, according to information provided by the Rockies from the Elias Sports Bureau.
It’s the second time this season Moyer has gone up against a 22-year-old counterpart. He faced San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner on April 12 in a loss.
When Moyer made his major league debut on June 16, 1986, nine of the current Diamondbacks weren’t even born yet, including Corbin.
Seeing him up close and in action, Corbin understands why Moyer has been so effective for so long.
“He’s still going out there and look what he did today, still keeping our hitters off balance,” said Corbin, who allowed six runs in six innings. “That’s why he’s been around so long.”
The main thing with Moyer was that he kept his pitches down. He hardly ever sent a pitch over the teeth of the plate, which frustrated the Diamondbacks.
“He wants you to try to be overaggressive,” said Goldschmidt, who had a double and was struck out twice by Moyer. “Whenever he throws well, he’s keeping the ball down. There have been times when I’m sure he leaves pitches up and guys are able to hit it. He did a good job tonight.”
Too bad members of the Diamondbacks coaching staff couldn’t have stepped into the batter’s box and faced Moyer. Some of them had decent numbers against him.
Gibson was 4 for 10 against Moyer in his career, while third base coach Matt Williams was 3 for 11 and bench coach Alan Trammell 3 for 17.
First base coach Eric Young wasn’t as fortunate, going hitless in 12 at-bats against Moyer.
“He disrupts your timing,” Gibson explained.
Moyer reminds Gibson of a former teammate with the Detroit Tigers, Frank Tanana.
“His fastball was 83 tops and he’d break four bats a game,” Gibson said of Tanana. “Moyer is the same way, has a way of working the outside part of the plate. Gets you reaching and next thing you know he’s throwing 80 mph on your hands and saws you off.”
Notes: Before the game, the Rockies honored former owner Jerry McMorris, who died last week of cancer. Commissioner Bud Selig, Diamondbacks hitting coach Don Baylor and Rockies 1B Todd Helton gave video tributes. McMorris was instrumental in bringing the Rockies to the Mile High City. … RHP Daniel Hudson (shoulder) threw 54 pitches in 2 1-3 innings Wednesday during an extended spring training game. He will throw a bullpen session Saturday. … Pinch-hitter Cody Ransom drove in the only run for the Diamondbacks with a double in the seventh.
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