SweetSpot

Clearing the Bases: Moyer does it all
May 17, 2012 11:50:46 AM PDT
By David Schoenfield

First base: The 49-year-old speedster. So not only did Jamie Moyer win his second game of the season in Colorado's 6-1 victory over Arizona, but he accomplished the following: (1) He legged out an infield hit that drove in two runs, becoming the oldest major leaguer to record an RBI; (2) He drove in more than he allowed; (3) He pitched into the seventh inning for just the second time this season; (4) He matched his career-high with two RBIs; (5) HE BEAT OUT AN INFIELD HIT! "I thought it was going to roll foul," Moyer said. "And I feel like I hesitated just a little bit, and then ... as I was running down the line, I saw the pitcher stop and the first baseman, I think he picked it up and he was going to throw it to the pitcher and then he realized the pitcher wasn't (covering the bag). So, then it became, I guess, a slow crawl to first base."

Second base: Detroit disaster. The Tigers continue to play uninspiring baseball, losing 11-7 to the Twins to drop to 18-19. Detroit committed four errors in the first three innings but actually led 7-6 through five innings before the bullpen surrendered five runs in relief of Rick Porcello. The Tigers rank last in the AL with a 5.17 bullpen ERA. Since starting 9-3, the Tigers are 9-16 as Porcello and Max Scherzer continue to get hit around -- they've combined to allow 109 hits in 87.1 innings. Austin Jackson also left the game with a mild abdominal strain and is day to day. If the Tigers are going to win the division, it appears it will be a slow crawl as opposed to the wire-to-wire domination many projected.

Third base: Mr. BABIP. Remember when everybody said Jeremy Hellickson couldn't replicate his rookie numbers? Too lucky, won't repeat his .223 batting average on balls in play, a figure that led the majors, not enough strikeouts and so on. Well ... so far he's doing it again. Hellickson is now 4-0 with a 2.77 ERA ... and .238 BABIP. On Wednesday, he held the Red Sox to one run in six innings, an improvement over an earlier start against Boston in which he allowed five runs and three home runs. While Hellickson's strikeout rate has increased from 5.6 to 6.5 per nine innings, his hit rate has increased from 7.0 to 7.8 per nine, so there is some regression to the norm going on here. Still, considering Tampa's defensive shifts, Hellickson's proclivity as a fly ball pitcher, and the great late movement he gets on his changeup, his BABIP may always be below league-average figures. In other words ... maybe he's more than just lucky; maybe he's good.

Home plate: Tweet of the day.

Great win in front of the home crowd 2nite. Who's this Jamie Moyer guy? He can do it all, pitch & swing it. #ExcitingYoungPlayer

Jeremy Guthrie (@JGuthrie46) May 17, 2012

Tags: Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies, Rick Porcello, Jamie Moyer, Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson, Jeremy Hellickson

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