Jamie Moyer didn’t crack 80 miles per hour with any of his pitches last night

23 Comments

Not only did Jamie Moyer beat the Padres last night, becoming the oldest pitcher in baseball history to record a victory, the 49-year-old left-hander did so without cracking even 80 miles per hour on any pitch.

In allowing just two unearned runs over seven innings Moyer threw 87 pitches, 54 of them for strikes.

According to the pitch breakdown at Brooks Baseball he threw 21 four-seam fastballs that averaged 77.2 mph, 19 cutters at 76.2 mph, 25 changeups at 72.1 mph, eight sinkers at 78.6 mph, and four curveballs at 68.2 mph.

And his fastest pitch on a night when the Padres managed zero extra-base hits in 27 plate appearances versus a man twice their age–and at Coors Field, no less–was 79.0 miles per hour.

UPDATE: On a related note, how many people can throw harder than Moyer? (Hint: Not many.)

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

Getty Images
2 Comments

Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.

Indians to move Danny Salazar to the bullpen

Jason Miller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

MLB.com’s William Kosileski reports that Indians starter Danny Salazar is being moved to the bullpen and will be available as soon as Wednesday or Thursday. The Indians will go on a five-game road strip starting on June 2, and manager Terry Francona said that Salazar could get a start during that trip.

Salazar, 27, has struggled to a 5.50 ERA over his first 10 starts this season. While none of those starts were absolute disasters, he failed to finish the sixth inning in seven of those 10 starts. It’s a far cry from his performance over the last two seasons, when he finished with a 3.45 ERA and 3.87 ERA.

Salazar’s walk rate is up to a career-high 11.9 percent, per FanGraphs, and he’s allowing many more line drives at the expense of ground balls. Compared to 2016, his line drive rate is up 8.9 percent and his ground ball rate is down 10.4 percent. All of that could explain Salazar’s struggles to some extent.