08/04/09 11:23 PM ET
Moyer unable to lift Phillies out of funk
Lefty battling inconsistency, but has Manuel in his corner
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
There are six starters for five spots in the Phillies' rotation once Pedro Martinez joins the team, which could happen as early as next week. But manager Charlie Manuel mentioned two numbers following Tuesday's 8-3 loss to the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park that strongly indicate Moyer will be one of those five, no matter what happens with Martinez: 250 and 10.
"It's who he is, and the fact that he has won 250-some games," said Manuel, whose team has lost five of its past six games. "He's been very important to us. I think that's what people look at. The guy has 10 wins."
Moyer, who allowed six runs in five-plus innings against the Rockies, has won 256 games in his career and a team-high 10 games this season. But he also has a 5.55 ERA, which is the second-highest ERA of any starter in the National League. Only Cardinals right-hander Todd Wellmeyer's is higher (5.77).
If Moyer remains in the rotation with Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton and Martinez, J.A. Happ likely would move to the bullpen.
"All I feel like I can do is go out and pitch," Moyer said. "I don't make any decisions. I'll deal with that when it comes. Whatever comes."
Moyer has had an interesting few weeks.
He entered Tuesday 7-2 with a 3.82 ERA in 11 starts since May 25. But he also has been wildly inconsistent.
His starts have followed this pattern: good start, bad start, good start, bad start. There has been no in between.
Moyer allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings July 4 against the Mets, six runs in five innings July 9 against the Reds, zero runs in seven innings July 16 against the Marlins, five runs in five innings July 22 against the Cubs and zero runs in 6 2/3 innings July 27 against the D-backs before he struggled Tuesday against the Rockies.
"The only thing I can tell you is that I'm working as hard as I can to try to create some consistency for myself as well as my teammates," Moyer said.
Moyer allowed a two-run home run to Garrett Atkins in the second inning, but really found trouble in the fourth. After a leadoff single to Todd Helton and a one-out double to Brad Hawpe, Ryan Spilborghs singled to score Helton to make it 3-0. Moyer then walked Atkins to load the bases and Chris Iannetta to score Hawpe for a 4-0 Colorado lead.
Moyer lasted only two batters in the sixth, walking Troy Tulowitzki and Hawpe to start the inning.
"You can't walk people in this ballpark and expect to win," Moyer said.
The Phillies' offense wishes it had as much help lately. It has been a rough six games for the offense. Philadelphia has hit just .222 (45-for-203) and scored just 13 runs (2.2 per game). That included shutout losses Wednesday in Arizona and Saturday in San Francisco. The Phils also hit just .149 (7-for-47) with runners in scoring position.
Manuel thought his club would have a big day against Rockies right-hander Jason Hammel. Jimmy Rollins did, too.
"After my first at-bat I was like, 'OK, we're going to get to this guy,'" He said. "Evidently, he had a little better stuff than we thought. It's one of those nights."
No opportunity came bigger for the Phillies than in the third when Ryan Howard struck out swinging on a 3-2 breaking ball with the bases loaded to end the inning.
"We had a real good chances with the bases loaded and two outs," Rollins said. "He found a way to get out of that. That pretty much just stopped the threat."
"It's a difference-maker in this game," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said of Howard's strikeout, "because if this ball gets rifled in the gap or something like that, then the whole complexion of the game changes. ... Obviously, the fans were very aroused at that time."
Rollins crushed a two-run home run into the Phillies bullpen in right-center field in the fifth to make it 4-2, but Moyer and Rodrigo Lopez combined to allow four runs in the sixth to make it 8-2.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.