...and he doesn't even know it!
Mr. All-Business. Dr. Humble. Professor Changeup. Whatever title you throw his way, Jamie Moyer is all those things.
Living up to the innocence invoked by his first name, the 47-year-old won his 100th game over the age of 40 - and 264th overall - in style, tossing a complete game at a time in his life when most major league pitchers are teeing off at the country club or breaking down pitches and at-bats from the broadcast booth.
Most pitchers in their 40s don't reach the number of their age in wins, much less 100. Pitchers in this era are generally afraid to throw even their breaking balls at 80 miles per hour, and Moyer just baffled the San Diego Padres lineup with nine innings of that speed.
Mr. Ageless even added a Kodak moment in the ninth inning when his chest met grass going after a ground ball up the first base line from Jerry Hairston, Jr (flashbacks to Game 3 of the 2008 World Series, anyone?). He flipped to Ryan Howard to get the out and seemed annoyed that it took him so long to get the ball to first after he quickly rose to his feet again. Jamie, a lot of guys your age would need assistance from multiple family members/friends to get up after a spill like that. It just says so much about his great desire to help the team win.
The Phillie bats finally showed their appreciation for their veteran hurler's efforts, scoring more than three runs in a game for the first time since I started this blog (I briefly considered shutting it down and sitting on my cursed typing fingers until the drought was over).
Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth finally realized the bottom of the order couldn't hit above .220 forever, and they broke through against Jon Garland, one of the best pitchers in the league for the past month.
The sluggers also finally accepted the fact that to break out of a slump, you absolutely must hit the ball the other way. All three men did that on their run-scoring hits, and the humid, June air of home sweet home did its part as well. Let's face it, Werth's blast might have been playable for an infielder in April.
This is exactly what I like to see - some good baseball against a first-place team. Work out the kinks now because it won't be this easy against the Red Sox and Yankees later this month. They've got short porches too and batters who will foul off every deceivably slow pitch in the world until they find one to their liking.
That won't stop Moyer from challenging those hitters, just like all the others he's faced over the past 24 years. It's also nothing to him to dive for balls like his much younger defenders behind him do every day. That's why the Phillies keep him around.
And that's why he's so frickin' money.