Moyer achieves multiple milestones in win

Moyer achieves multiple milestones in win

PHILADELPHIA -- Jamie Moyer recalled on Sunday a conversation he had several years ago with a member of the Seattle Mariners' front office.

The official mentioned the amount of innings Moyer had pitched in his career, and Moyer responded that he would pitch 4,000 innings before it ended. The official sounded skeptical.

"If I have the opportunity I'm going to do it," Moyer replied.

Moyer reached that milestone -- and a less appealing one -- in an 11-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park. Moyer, who allowed just six hits and two runs in seven innings, became the 40th pitcher in baseball history to throw 4,000 innings. He also allowed the 506th homer of his career, when he allowed a two-run home run to Vernon Wells in the third inning. It set a new Major League record. Robin Roberts, who had held the record since he retired in 1966, moved into second place with 505 homers allowed.

Moyer, who earned his 267th win in the process, knew the home run record would fall eventually.

"You get enough opportunities, you will [set it]," he said.

Moyer allowed his first home run on June 23, 1986, at Veterans Stadium against Phillies second baseman Juan Samuel. He allowed his second home run to Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt.

Moyer said he does not remember those home runs, but he clearly remembers the first hit he allowed, which came against Phillies center fielder Ron Roenicke on June 16, 1986, at Wrigley Field in his Major League debut.

"A double down the left-field line," he said. "I'll never forget that."

Moyer said it is difficult to appreciate what he is accomplishing while he is in the middle of it. So he does not focus on the legends he has passed in the record book recently, names like Bob Feller (who he passed with his win on Sunday), Carl Hubbell, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Whitey Ford and Jim Bunning.

"Suddenly you lose focus of what you need to do, and that's go out and pitch," Moyer said. "There's a time and place for that, and it's not during the season. Because I know I will be distracted."

The Phillies retrieved the historic 506th home run ball, although Moyer didn't seem too excited about getting it. He said if he got it, he might give it to his dog or one of his children.

He much preferred to talk about pitching 4,000 innings.

"After that conversation [with the Seattle official] I started thinking, 'Four thousand innings. That's 12,000 outs. That's pretty cool,'" Moyer said. "I've fooled around with it. How many walks do I have? How many batters have I faced? And then I'll sit sometimes in the dugout and go, 'Are there 12,000 seats in this ballpark?' Just play games with it. You know what I mean? There are many people that have done this, people that have had unbelievable careers. It's part of the history of the game. We're all part of the history of the game, but I'm enjoying this."

Moyer has allowed homers to 322 batters in 42 ballparks. Manny Ramirez hit 10 home runs against Moyer, more than any other player. Joe Randa was homerless in 48 at-bats against Moyer, the most at-bats against Moyer without a homer.

Moyer has allowed 15 homers against the Phillies: Lance Parrish (four), Schmidt (two), Luis Aguayo (two), Lenny Dykstra (one), Ron Jones (one), Chris James (one), Von Hayes (one), John Russell (one), Rick Schu (one) and Samuel (one).

But not to be lost in Sunday's milestones, Moyer is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA since he suffered the worst start of his career, on June 11 in Boston. He is 9-6 with a 4.30 ERA this season, and 6-4 with a 3.44 ERA in his last 10 starts.

Moyer is 47 years old. He is pitching like he can do the job a few more years.

"Having the opportunity to play this game as long as I have, it's pretty cool," he said.