will make one more start this season, and it could be significant in more ways than one.
He will pitch Saturday against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils could clinch the National League East that night, depending on how their week goes. The game also could make Moyer a 16-game winner, tying him with Phil Niekro for the most wins ever by a pitcher 45 or older.
Moyer allowed six hits, one run, and one walk in six innings yesterday in a 5-2 victory over the Florida Marlins at Dolphin Stadium. The victory gave the Phillies a 11/2-game lead in the division with six games left.
Moyer improved to 15-7 with a 3.78 ERA. He went 4-1 with a 2.81 ERA against the Marlins this season.
"He's been doing that all year long," manager Charlie Manuel said. "It was very hot, and I was concerned about him. He put a lot of energy into the game at his age and everything."
Niekro won 16 games for the New York Yankees in 1984 and 1985, when he was 45 and 46, respectively. But he was a knuckleballer, while Moyer still throws a variety of pitches.
Moyer was asked if the heat made him feel 45. "I don't know. What's that feel like?" he said. "Running the bases, covering the bases, that sometimes makes it difficult."
He obviously came out of it OK.
The Phillies, New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers are fighting for two playoff berths with less than a week to play.
The Phillies open a three-game series tonight against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Braves righthander Jair Jurrjens (13-10, 3.72 ERA) will face lefthander J.A. Happ (1-0, 4.24) tonight.
The Mets begin a four-game series tonight against the NL Central champion Chicago Cubs. Cubs righthander Jason Marquis (10-9, 4.39) faces lefthander Jon Niese (1-0, 4.09) tonight. Righthander Rich Harden (5-1, 1.66) takes on Johan Santana (14-7, 2.65) tomorrow night; righthander Carlos Zambrano (14-6, 3.77) faces lefthander Oliver Perez (10-7, 4.10) on Wednesday night; and lefthander Ted Lilly (16-9, 4.17) takes on righthander Pedro Martinez (5-6, 5.50) on Thursday night.
The Brewers are off today. They open a three-game series tomorrow night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Righthander Dave Bush (9-10, 4.22) faces Pirates righthander Jeff Karstens (2-6, 4.37) tomorrow night. Milwaukee has not announced the rest of its rotation.
is making history.
He is believed to be one of just six pitchers to save at least 40 consecutive games. He saved three straight to finish last season with the Houston Astros and 40 with the Phillies this season for 43 consecutive saves.
Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne saved a record 84 consecutive games from Aug. 28, 2002, to July 3, 2004. Boston Red Sox closer Tom Gordon saved 54 consecutive games from April 19, 1998, to June 5, 1999. San Francisco Giants closer Rod Beck saved 41 straight from Aug. 19, 1993, to April 29, 1995. San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman saved 41 straight from Aug. 24, 1997, to July 25, 1998. And Oakland Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley saved 40 straight from Sept. 5, 1991, to Aug. 7, 1992.
Lidge could become just the sixth pitcher in history to finish the season with a perfect save percentage with at least 20 save opportunities: Gagne saved 55 of 55 in 2003, Beck saved 28 of 28 in 1994, Chicago White Sox knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm saved 27 of 27 in 1964, Pirates closer Mike Gonzalez saved 24 of 24 in 2006, and Beck saved 20 of 20 for the Padres in 2003.
hit a two-run home run to right field in the third inning, snapping his streak of 27 consecutive games without a homer. That was a span of 101 consecutive at-bats without one.