Sunday could be the last time this season the Marlins see Jamie Moyer, whose spot in the Phillies rotation is tenuous. If Pedro Martinez replaces Moyer, you will hear no complaining from the Marlins, who are to Moyer what a mosquito is to a flyswatter.
The 46-year-old lefty, the oldest guy in the majors, is now in his fourth season embarassing the Marlins with stuff so soft that grandpa at home probably sits in his rocker thinking he can do a better job than the likes of Dan Uggla and Cody Ross. Moyer has won 13 of 15 decisions against the Marlins since 2006 whole holding their hitters to a .219 average.
Don't expect newcomer Nick Johnson to turn the tide, either. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said that Johnson, who has gone 1 for 18 against Moyer over his career, will be on the bench to start Sunday's game, with Jorge Cantu sliding back to first and Wes Helms filling in at third.
How does Moyer do it? I strolled by his locker this afternoon searching for answers, and this is all I got from him:
"I don't have an explanation for you -- sorry," Moyer said. "I really don't have any reasons for it, because I think if I had reasons for that, then I would be able to do that against other teams. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Why should I delve into it and try to figure it out?I don't have an answer."
Could it be the Marlins' swing-from-the-heels approach to hitting?
Could it be that Moyer has gotten into their heads, has done a psyche job on them?
"You'd have to ask them," he said. "I'm not that smart."
Does he pitch them any differently than he does other teams?
"No, my approach to them is with caution, just like it is with any other team," he said. "I try to be aggressive and be me, and they probably go out and try to be themselves."
There's talk in Philly that Moyer could soon move to the bullpen and give up his spot to Martinez. Then again, the Marlins and Phillies have seven more games remaining, Why wouldn't the Phillies keep him around to antagonize the Fish?
"I guess it's good I've been having success against one team or a couple of teams, otherwise I might not have a job," he said.
-- Jeremy Hermida isn't in Saturday's lineup, the second straight game he'll be sitting on the bench. Emilio Bonifacio goes to center, with Ross moving over to right:
Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, lf; 2. Nick Johnson, 1b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Jorge Cantu, 3b; 5. Dan Uggla, 2b; 6. Cody Ross, rf; 7. Ronny Paulino, c; 8. Emilio Bonifacio, cf; 9. Sean West, p.
-- Anibal Sanchez might be only a rehab start or two from rejoining the Marlins. Sanchez delivered 6 2/3 hitless innings in his start Friday for Single A Jupiter. Gonzalez said the reports on him were strong, including an increase in velocity. Gonzalez said Sanchez would make at least one more rehab start -- Wednesday for Double A Jacksonville -- before a decision is made.
Sanchez now appears to be ahead of Andrew Miller on the progression scale. Miller remains on idle at Triple A New Orleans with a sprained ankle. And since his first two starts for the Zephyrs were duds, it would probably require at least two good ones -- one he is finally able to get back on the mound -- to convince the Marlins to bring him back.
-- The Marlins haven't been scoring runs late so far on the road trip. Going into Saturday, they had scored only three runs total after the fifth inning through the first four games of the trip.
-- Chris Coghlan has had at least two hits in each of his past six games. The club record for multiple-hit games is seven, done twice by Juan Pierre during the 2004 season and once by Miguel Cabrera in 2006.