As the Seattle Mariners began their six-game trek into the National League, there was much talk about the best team in baseball being forced to play without their offensive staple, DH Edgar Martinez. Some believed it would be a major disadvantage for a team built around pitching and defense. Some thought it could cause their five-game lead in the AL West to dwindle considerably. Someone forgot to tell Jamie Moyer.
Moyer, a Philadelphia area native, took his 8-2 mark to the hill at Veterans Stadium for the first time since 1987, and left the DH issue completely moot.
After a short rain delay, the left-hander sliced and diced the Phillies’ power-laden lineup to the tune of four measly hits in seven scoreless innings. Moyer (9-2) was in command from the first pitch and never really got into any trouble as he rode Bret Boone’s bat to a 4-0 win.
Moyer’s pinpoint control of all three of his pitches was key, as usual, in his dominance in game one of the three-game set. Moyer didn’t walk a batter and struck-out a season-high tying eight in his ninth victory of the year.
Boone connected on a 2-1 fastball from Philly ace Kevin Millwood, driving a two-run homerun to right-center field in the third inning to hand Moyer all the support he needed. But Moyer had a hand in that one too. Moyer led off the inning with an infield single into the hole at shortstop and scored on the long-ball, Boone’s 16th bomb of the season.
Boone finished the game with three hits to raise his season average to .318. Randy Winn had three hits and an RBI and Dan Wilson had two hits and added a RBI as well to add to the Mariners’ cause without Edgar Martinez.
Philadephia dropped to 31-26 on the year.
Moyer only allowed two baserunners in an inning once, that coming in the fourth, and he retired the final eight batters he faced.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa and Arthur Rhodes pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to close out the M’s ML best 38th win of 2003. The win streak has reached seven and the road-win streak has climbed to 11, a new team record.
Seattle (38-18) moved to 20-games over the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Millwood, the only pitcher with a no-hitter to his credit in 2003, fell to 7-3.
Wednesday’s scheduled starters slate Mariner’s right-hander Gil Meche (7-2, 3.11 ERA) vs. Philadelphia right-hander Vincente Padilla (4-6, 4.21 ERA) in game two at Veteran Stadium in Philadelphia.
Jason resides in North Tacoma, Wash., where his father is his best friend, his mother has a better fastball than he does, and his nephew is the only person better suited for stardom. Feedback is always welcome at JasonAChurchill@cs.com.