Any of you watch the Matt Moore just about no-hitter on Thursday night, when Moore came within an out of tossing that all elusive hitless game?
Before you get too excited and trade for Moore with an eye on a title or looking for an ace next year, remember that going into Thursday's start, Moore was 0-3, 4.69 over four starts and 23 innings over which he managed a decent 22 whiffs to go with an indecent 1.52 WHIP.
To get to two outs in the ninth, Moore needed 133 pitches while walking three and striking out seven. I did watch the final five innings of the game and Moore was spotting his curve well, but he was similarly making good pitches at the right time, something that usually indicates a good pitcher who knows what he is doing.
I do remember how in love with Moore we all were when he arrived in 2012, but unfortunately his pitching line has not been much better than that of another tantalizing-then-disappointing Florida prospect, Jeremy Hermida. Ineffectiveness and injury made Moore expendable, and the Giants, in desperate straights for arms, bit on the 27-year old.
And, while I don't want to knock Moore while on a high, who remembers that Chris Heston hurled a no-no last year and now is buried in the minors? Or, who remembers Mike Warren, who tossed a no-no for the Athletics September 29, 1983--before pitch counts were logged--and wound up 3-0, 4.11 that year completing his career at 9-13, 5.06 over 27 starts?
I was in the crowd first when Jose Jimenez blanked the Astros on 101 pitches and no-hits (Randy Johnson faced him, allowing just one) on June 25, 1999, when he finished the year 5-14, 5.85 finishing 24-44, 4.92 over 521.3 frames. And, I was in the press box scoring for MLB.com on May 9, 2010 when Dallas Braden needed 109 pitches for a perfecto, but again, poor Braden was injured and completed his career 26-36, 4.19 over 491.3 frames.
The diciest no-no, though, I think must belong to Tim Lincecum, whose 2013 no-no against the Padres took 148 pitches, probably takes the cake (Lord Z made a compelling case for Johan Santana, BTW), with Lincecum sadly on the down side of what was such a promising and fun career.
But, at least in that game, Lincecum whiffed 13 compared to Moore's seven. The thing about Moore's game was that he was hittable: Sadly, all the Giants hurler's pitches seemed a lot fatter over this series with the now front running Dodgers than when the season began.
I think the main issue, however, is that irrespective of the end result, the no-hitter Jake Arrieta twirled at the end of last season was a completely different animal than the nickel-and-dime nibble affair Moore delivered yesterday (and again, Moore lost his bid with two out in the ninth on a squib hit by Corey Seager) when the pitch count lost to the single and Moore delivered his last pitch in what would have been.
It is easy to get excited, as noted, when a guy like Moore tosses a solid game and even better, boosts our totals late in the season giving us hope. Just try not to confuse the hope of Moore's game with the general excellence of a pitcher like Arrieta, who is good game after game, and excels within that construct, as opposed to Moore, who is iffy game after game, and managed to assemble 130 good pitches (14 more than his previous season high) and give us an evening's worth of excitement.