As recently as two months ago, Jamie Moyer was kryptonite to the Florida Marlins. Facing a lineup of free-swinging sluggers keyed on fastballs, Moyer--who doesn't really have a fastball--endlessly kept them off-balance with his repertoire of slow, slower and slowest offspeed pitches. Moyer won his first ten career starts against the Marlins, including two victories this season. But they finally got his number on Aug. 5--not by slugging home runs, but by drawing three walks and one HBP to go with six hits (five singles and a double), forcing the 45 year-old lefty out of the game with 96 pitches through five innings of work.
Florida's schizophrenic offensive personality was on display in last night's 3-2 Phillies win: the Marlins drew five walks, but struck out 16 times, and were obviously pressing in the last three innings as they chased bad pitches from J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge. As is so often the case with him, Moyer's capacity for forcing opposing hitters to make bad decisions and beat themselves likely will determine whether he can resume his former mastery of the Marlins.