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08/16/08 2:33 AM ET
Moyer has upper hand in duel of vets
Lefty bests Maddux in game decided by Burrell's homer
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- They met in 1984, shortly after the Cubs made Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer the 31st and 135th overall selections in the June Draft. They signed together, logged Spring Training and Instructional League hours together, and played together with Pittsfield in 1986, and with the Cubs for parts of the 1986-88 seasons together. They appeared in a combined 1,366 games and made 1,309 starts, yet Friday at PETCO Park was only the second time they faced each other. Moyer won, 1-0, evening the score after a lopsided 14-3 loss on Aug. 24, 2007. This contest exhibited the baffle-the-opponent abilities that allowed them to amass 594 total wins. "That was Pitching 101 from both guys," Padres center fielder Scott Hairston said. "It was cool," said Pat Burrell, who ruined Maddux's fun with a seventh-inning homer for the game's only run. "Those guys have known each other for a long time. There are probably some guys on both teams who weren't born yet. It's pretty neat." The Padres and Phillies had three players, Kyle Kendrick, Sean Kazmar and Chase Headley, who were born in 1984, the year Maddux and Moyer signed their names out of Valley High School (Las Vegas) and St. Joseph's University, respectively. How far back do they go? As a rookie, Maddux once relieved in the 18th inning of a game started by Moyer, on Sept. 2, 1986. The game had been suspended and completed on Sept. 3. "The Cubs wanted to make him a coach when he was about 28," Maddux said. "I think that was about 17 years ago. It looks like he's still going pretty good." The left- and right-handed veterans breezed through seven innings apiece, with Maddux cracking once, on a 1-1 pitch that Burrell swatted out to left field. Maddux allowed five hits, while Moyer gave up three. Through the first five innings, the craftsmen each had thrown just 61 pitches, with Moyer throwing one more strike, 44 to 43. The two have many similarities. Scott Eyre, who is getting to know Moyer, and played with Maddux with the Cubs in 2006, said both are eager to teach. "If you ask [Maddux] a question, I never saw him go, 'Do this,' and leave it at that," Eyre said. "He would give you a methodically thought-out answer. That's what he is. He's a big thinker. He's also a screwball, a prankster and video-game fan, but he's always there to help." Moyer too, sans the screwball and prankster qualities. The Phillies entered San Diego after getting swept in four games by a hot Dodgers team, and did little against Maddux and his 2.62 ERA at home this season. In victory, they snapped a four-game losing streak and kept pace with the Mets, remaining a game behind New York. "Our offense has been shut down, and I'm still trying to figure out why, but I think before the season is done, we'll go on a hot streak," manager Charlie Manuel said. He'll take this one. Shortstops Jimmy Rollins and Luis Rodriguez made spectacular plays at shortstop, something both contact-reliant pitchers appreciated. Both men recalled when they were on the same career path 24 years ago. For trivia's sake, Chicago's first-round pick in 1984 was Drew Hall, a pitcher who was dealt with Moyer to Texas in 1988. "It's always great to face guys who you played with or against," Moyer said. "He's had great longevity in his career. I feel I have as well. We faced each other last year in Philly, and he was on the upper end of that one. Now it's even." The rubber match could be scheduled for next year, assuming Maddux decides to return. Moyer has already made his choice. "I don't know if he's going to play," Moyer said. "I am."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.