All Eyes on Tacoma for Bizarre Pitching Matchup
Tonight’s mound duel between 49-year-old former Mariner Jamie Moyer and 22-year-old future Mariner Danny Hultzen is really just an odd coincidence, but what a fun one!
A week ago, Moyer was part of the Baltimore Orioles organization, who had picked him up after his release from the Colorado Rockies, for whom Moyer became the oldest winning pitcher in major league history earlier this year, but had a 5.70 ERA in 10 starts.
The Orioles had promised him that after three minor league starts they’d either promote him or release him. On Saturday, they chose the latter.
Monday, Moyer signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, whose AAA affiliate is in Las Vegas, and who just happened to be headed to Tacoma. The next opening in the Las Vegas Stars’ rotation happened to be today.
Meanwhile Hultzen–the second overall pick in last year’s draft–was just promoted from AA Jackson to AAA Tacoma a week ago. After a forgettable debut in Colorado Springs, Hultzen’s first home start was scheduled for tonight. And even though the Rainiers’ Tuesday game in Colorado Springs was postponed due to the Waldo Canyon Fire, the team chose to keep Hultzen on his regular schedule of four days rest.
So, here we are! Moyer, the Mariners’ all-time-winningest pitcher with 145, against Hultzen, the team’s top pitching prospect.
Of course, the matchup just screams for factoid research. Here’s mine: Cheney Stadium was also the site of the 1990 Goodwill Games, an amateur event for which Jamie Moyer was ineligible since he was then in his seventh professional season. The U.S. team was made up of the nation’s top college players, all of whom have since retired. Danny Hultzen was 1.
I got to go to those games only because a friend’s dad took me, I was five years old and too young to drive–here’s how old I am now: I’m going to the Mariners game tonight as part of a corporate event. Not a bad pitching matchup at Safeco either, with Felix Hernandez going against fireballing Red Sox pitcher Franklin Morales.
Still, if you’ve got Thursday night free, should be a large (and media-heavy) crowd in Tacoma. Craft a fun sign and you might get yourself on ESPN!