Jamie Moyer has been a model of efficiency and consistency since he joined the Phillies in August.
He opened this season with seven consecutive quality starts. He also had pitched at least six innings in 15 of 16 starts overall, and the Phillies had a 12-4 record because of it. But last night proved to be his first truly poor effort in red pinstripes. He allowed eight hits and seven runs in just 31/3 innings in a 13-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park.
"It seemed every inning I was in trouble," Moyer said. "It's not an easy way to pitch."
The Phillies look to righthander Adam Eaton this afternoon to help them win the three-game series against the Blue Jays, finish their 10-game homestand at 7-3, and return to .500 for the third time this season.
The Phillies haven't been better than .500 yet.
They certainly would rather make that happen sooner than later. They were 9-14 at one point last season and didn't get above .500 until May 5. They were 12-17 to start the 2005 season and didn't get there until June 4. They were 1-6 to start 2004 and needed until May 9 to make it happen.
Moyer (4-3) seemed to be up to the task, but he ran into a team that has enjoyed plenty of success against him. The eight hitters in the Blue Jays lineup had hit a combined .341 (56 for 164) with 10 doubles, 1 triple, 10 home runs, and 32 RBIs against him. That lineup consisted of Alex Rios (.429), Lyle Overbay (.429), Vernon Wells (.333), Troy Glaus (.347), Aaron Hill (.364), Matt Stairs (.300), Jason Phillips (.000) and John McDonald (.357).
It didn't include Frank Thomas, who had hit .356 (16 for 45) with six homers and 13 RBIs lifetime against him.
"Whether they have or haven't had success, today was a new day," Moyer said.
Rios hit a leadoff double in the first but did not score. Hill and Stairs hit back-to-back singles to start the second, but Moyer worked out of that when he made a nice defensive play with two outs to end the inning. Pitcher Shaun Marcum (2-2) hit a ball up the middle that bounced off Moyer's glove. Moyer recovered and threw to first to end the inning.
But everything finally unraveled in the third.
Moyer walked Rios to start the inning, and Overbay followed with a triple to center. Wells singled to score Overbay to make it 2-0, and Glaus followed with a two-run homer to left to make it 4-0.
McDonald started the fourth with a single to center, and Marcum walked. Rios bounced into a fielder's choice, but Overbay hit a three-run homer to right to make it 7-0.
Moyer's night was finished.
He hadn't had a shorter outing since May 11, 2005, when he lasted just 21/3 innings against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, where he allowed 10 hits and six runs. He hadn't allowed seven earned runs since July 21 last season against the Boston Red Sox at Seattle's Safeco Field, when he allowed six hits, eight runs (seven earned), and five home runs in 41/3 innings.
Then the Blue Jays turned an ugly loss into a laugher in the eighth when they scored six runs off Clay Condrey, including a grand slam from Stairs. Condrey entered with a 1.42 ERA. He left with a 9.00 ERA.
Marcum held the Phillies hitless through the first four innings until Chase Utley hit a leadoff homer in the fifth to make it 7-1. Greg Dobbs doubled with one out and scored on Abraham Nuñez's single to center.
But that was it.
In a week full of memorable comebacks and performances, last night was miserable all around.
"We got beat, man," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We got blown out. Tonight was just one of those nights."
Madson feels ready. Righthander Ryan Madson, who is on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, threw a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance Friday for double-A Reading. He will make another rehab appearance this afternoon, but said yesterday he was ready to pitch.
"I'm 100 percent," Madson said. Madson, who will throw two innings today, will be activated before Tuesday's game in Florida.
Lopes out. First-base coach Davey Lopes missed his seventh consecutive game for personal reasons. He could be back this week.