For once, Jamie Moyer knows what it takes to pitch well and lose. Oh, the irony.

Moyer was brilliant for the Phillies as they faced the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night, allowing only two earned runs on four hits and one walk in seven innings, while striking out seven and lowering his ERA to 4.30, in the rematch of the teams that faced each other back in 1986 when Moyer made his major league debut against Steve Carlton.

Moyer, who has spent the vast majority of his Phillies career collecting wins despite giving up four to six runs per game, found himself on the losing end of a pitchers’ duel with Tom Gorzelanny of the Cubs. 

Gorzelanny scattered three hits and two walks over six and two-thirds scoreless innings while striking out five.  The Phillies failed to capitalize on an inning and a third of John Grabow and Carlos Zambrano, two of the worst performing Cubs of the 2010 season, scoring only one run off of Grabow.  Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth for his seven save.

This marks the second night in a row that the usually high-powered Phillies offense failed to take advantage of a gem from one of their starting pitchers; on Tuesday night, Roy Halladay took the loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates despite a complete game effort during which he allowed only two runs.

Meanwhile, both the Florida Marlins and Washington Nationals won tonight, picking up a game each in the standings. The Phils now lead the Marlins by three games and the Nationals by four. 

The Nationals also got good news from Triple-A Syracuse, as Stephen Strasburg pitched six and a third scoreless innings, striking out nine, walking two and allowing three hits.  Strasburg has yet to give up a run at Triple-A in 18 and a third innings.

Meanwhile, this was the Phillies third game since the return of Jimmy Rollins, and the Phils are now 1-2 in those games. 

In Rollins’ first game back, the Phillies won 12-2, but they have scored only three runs in the two games since then. 

Curiously, Rollins has batted third in two of these games and tonight he batted sixth.  During the last two games, Shane Victorino has batted leadoff and gone 1-for-8.

The ability of the Philadelphia Phillies to annually be one of the elite offensive teams in baseball despite having a leadoff man in Rollins with a .330 on-base percentage has always been befuddling, but for whatever reason, it has always worked.  So, here’s an idea – why don’t we move Rollins back to the top of the order, move Victorino back to seventh, and enjoy the rest of the season?

The Phillies play the Cubs in a business man’s special tomorrow at Citizens’ Bank Park at 1:05pm. 

The Phils will send Joe Blanton to the mound to face off against Ryan Dempster.  Hopefully Blanton can get some run support and avoid the same fate as Roy Halladay and—as odd as this is to say—Jamie Moyer by losing a well-pitched game.


Asher B. Chancey is the co-founder of

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