Jamie Moyer could be almost your whole team’s dad

I don’t think baseball-reference or retrosheet can do this yet (I could be wrong), but I’d really like to know how often one starting pitcher in a game has been twice the (seasonal) age of the opposing starting pitcher. I bet you could find a bunch of them just by looking at the last few years of the likes of Moyer, Ryan and Johnson and the first few of Feller and Newhouser. But anyway…I’d like to know, but not enough to actually go looking.

Regardless, it happened on Tuesday night, and it was bad news for the young guy, with 23 year old David Price and the Rays falling to 46 year old Jamie Moyer and the Phillies by a score of 10-1.

Now, Price didn’t pitch that badly (though he pitched plenty badly), and Moyer probably didn’t pitch that well (though I’d like to see anyone in his peer group do better). Price suffered from some terrible defense behind him…but did give up 5 “earned” runs (he surrendered all 10 total runs), and his K/BB/HR ratio was an ugly 1.0 (he racked up two of each in just over four innings). Moyer needed 101 pitches to get through six, and walked three, but he did double up on the younger’s strikeouts, with 4, and he allowed only the one run to score.

Price throws a 94 MPH fastball and a sharp 86 MPH slider; Moyer hasn’t thrown any of his pitches 86 in probably 15 years, and his fastball averages 82.

Now, Moyer’s 6 IP, 1 ER lowered his ERA for the season to just barely below 6, so let’s not get too carried away. But that 5.97 ERA is good for (approximately) a 74 ERA+, which is 10th all time for a player 46 and older (minimum 70 IP). And of the seasons ahead of his, two are by Hoyt Wilhelm, two by Jack Quinn, and two by Phil Niekro, and one by Brian Dowling in 1901, which should hardly count. So you could argue that Moyer is the 6th-best 46 year old pitcher of all time. Also, only Niekro (and Dowling) was a full-time starter by that age; if Moyer tops 138.2 innings this year (also a Niekro number, at age 48), he’ll have thrown the most innings in a season by a dude 46 or older, aside from Phil Niekro, in the last 108 years.

And he doesn’t even throw a knuckleball! Now, I’m pretty sick of the Phils, but you gotta love Jamie Moyer.

2 Responses to “Jamie Moyer could be almost your whole team’s dad”

  1. Minerva Says:

    When looking at a long, successful career like Moyer's, you have to kind of wonder if some of it is a reward for his remarkable work with his charity foundation? I just enjoy when someone gets to do what they love, and then turns around and makes life better for others with some of their gifts.

  2. lar Says:

    You said you didn't want to bother checking, so I checked for you. Between 1954 and 2008, there have been only 86 games where one starting pitcher is twice the age of the other. Nolan Ryan is high on the list, but it is absolutely dominated by Phil Niekro. Which isn't really a surprise if you think about it.

    I put the whole list over at wezen-ball if you want to see it.

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