LOS ANGELES - Randy Johnson isn't going to have new company in the 300-win club anytime soon, but 46-year-old Jamie Moyer gave chase last night.
Moyer - who had won his 250th game Sunday - cruised through most of his seven innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving up two runs on only four hits.
But it all came undone with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth last night when the Dodgers' Andre Ethier lined a shot into right field off closer Brad Lidge for a 4-3 victory over the Phillies.
The loss ended the Phils' winning streak at seven games after Lidge failed to pick up the save despite getting the first two outs of the inning. He gave up a two-out single to Casey Blake and then walked James Loney on a full count before third baseman Pedro Feliz muffed a potential game-ending grounder, loading the bases.
The Phillies led, 3-0, before the Dodgers scored their first run in the fourth inning. The Dodgers tightened the game with another run in the seventh, making the score 3-2.
The Phils built their early lead as Raul Ibanez increased his National League-leading RBI total to 54 when he drove in their first run with a fielder's choice in the third inning. Chase Utley, riding a 10-game hitting streak, drove in two runs with a fourth-inning double.
But it was Moyer's outing that was fascinating.
After Johnson, the 6-foot-10 lefthander for the San Francisco Giants, became the 24th member of the 300-win club on Thursday, Moyer became the closest active major-leaguer to reaching 300.
It's a prospect that inspires chuckles, and quick calculations. Pitch into his 50s, and average 10 wins a year? What if he could average closer to 15?
Make jokes about whether Moyer's fastball is a misnomer if you will, but victory No. 251 would have tied him with Bob Gibson on the all-time major-league victory list.
It is heady company for the not-so-intimidating 6-0, 185-pound Moyer.
"It's quite an accomplishment, winning 250 games like he did," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said before the game. "I've seen him go back to the minor leagues twice and make it back twice, and 250 wins . . . it tells you a lot. He did it with brains, determination, resilience and preparation.
He definitely didn't do it overpowering people, with what we call big-league stuff," Manuel said. "He did it by patience, being more patient than hitters."
The only hit Moyer gave up through the first five innings was a single by Juan Pierre to lead off the game. The second didn't come until Matt Kemp led off the sixth with a single. A double play and a groundout got him out of the inning.
The Dodgers got on the scoreboard in the fourth without the benefit of a hit after Moyer put Pierre on when he grazed him with a pitch. Pierre stole second, went to third on a groundout, and scored on another groundout.
To the surprise of some, Moyer stayed in for the seventh and gave up a leadoff double to Rafael Furcal. Ibanez, the Phillies' leftfielder, leaped at the wall but could not come up with the catch.
Moyer retired the next two batters, but then Loney hit a fly ball to shallow right that an onrushing Eric Bruntlett could not quite handle, and Furcal scored to cut the lead to 3-2.