And, lately, he’s been succeeding.
Moyer gave up his record-breaking 506th home run but was sharp otherwise, and the Phillies took advantage of Toronto’s troubles to beat the Blue Jays 11-2 Sunday.
“I have the desire to be here, so getting caught up in all the things that come with it, I don’t want to and won’t allow myself to and don’t want to get lost in where I am and that’s playing with these guys in the room,” Moyer said. “If you get caught up in it, you can really lose focus.”
“You can’t give them so many outs,” Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. “That’s the worst game we’ve played all year. We certainly lost as a team. We all stunk up the place.”
“The weather is getting hot, this is hitting season and we’re starting to swing the bats better,” said Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel, whose team has scored 75 runs in its last 11 games.
Moyer (9-6), whose mound opponent wasn’t even born when he made his major league debut, gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked none.
Moyer earned his 267th career victory, moving within one win of tying Jim Palmer for 34th on the all-time list. Moyer has won four of his last five starts.
“His longevity is absolutely remarkable,” Manuel said. “What impresses me is his command. He says if he puts the ball where he wants to go, he can get people out.”
That certainly was true against the Blue Jays.
“He keeps the ball down, moves the ball all over and keeps the hitters off-balance,” Wells said.
“I look at my job as my job and I don’t look at it any differently now than 20 years ago,” Moyer said. “To have an opportunity to play this long is pretty cool, but I really have to stay focused because whether it’s the media, the coaching staff, the front office, if I have a bad game, (they say), ‘Well, you’re too old, you can’t do it.”’
“He’s not going to overpower you and he works to his game plan and wants you to get yourself out,” Howard said.
The Phillies took two of three from the Jays in a series that was moved from Toronto to Philadelphia because of the G20 Summit. As they did all series, the Jays wore their home uniforms and batted second, while the Phillies wore their road grays.
Toronto has lost five of seven overall.
Cecil struggled for the third straight outing, allowing seven runs—five earned—and a season-high 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings.
Cecil won five straight starts, allowing only six earned runs, in a span through June 10. Since then, he has lost three in a row while giving up 25 hits and 16 earned runs in 15 2-3 innings.
After Toronto got a pair of runs back on Wells’ 19th homer, the Phillies got both runs back in the fourth on RBI singles by Rollins and Chase Utley(notes). Both were unearned after Hill dropped the throw from shortstop Alex Gonzalez(notes) on Wilson Valdez’s(notes) sharply hit grounder that looked like a routine double-play ball that would’ve ended the inning.
Hill had another gaffe in the strange seventh inning when the Blue Jays made three errors that set up four runs.
With one out, Howard was called safe when first-base umpire Joe West ruled that Lyle Overbay(notes) came off the bag on a throw, although replays appeared to show the first baseman held the bag. After Victorino singled and Francisco doubled, Raul Ibanez(notes) walked to load the bases.
The inning looked to be over when Valdez hit a sharp grounder to Hill, but the second baseman threw past Gonzalez and into left field, allowing Victorino and Francisco to score. Then, Sardinha grounded harmlessly to the pitcher’s mound, but Jason Frasor(notes) threw it away trying to get Ibanez in a rundown, allowing another run to cross.
NOTES: Moyer became the 40th pitcher in major league history to reach 4,000 innings when he completed the second. … The Phillies finished with a 9-9 interleague record, while Toronto went 7-11. … Manuel held 3B Placido Polanco(notes) out of the lineup for the second straight game as a precaution. Polanco’s left elbow was sore following a dive in Friday night’s game. Polanco missed six games from May 28-June 3 with a left elbow bruise and inflammation.