PHILS INSIDER

Matt Moore keeps it in perspective — it’s about wins, not no-hitters

PHILS INSIDER

Matt Moore heard you.

He heard you Tuesday night when he stunk.

He heard you Saturday afternoon when he was spectacular.

Moore backboned the Phillies' 6-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds with six no-hit innings. He walked two, struck out eight, and as manager Joe Girardi said, was brilliant.

Four days earlier, the 32-year-old left-hander was not so brilliant. He came out of the bullpen against the Los Angeles Dodgers, faced four batters, allowed three hits and three runs and was booed off the field.

"It definitely doesn't feel good the way I pitched the other night to kind of let the team down and the boo birds are a part of it," Moore said after Saturday's gem. "I think no matter what (the reaction was going to be from the fans), I was going to feel about as bad as I could about it."

That's what made Saturday feel so good.

It's been a rough season for Moore, who signed a one-year contract with the Phillies in January.

He opened the season in the rotation, lost his job, ended up on the injured list, pitched out of the bullpen, went back to the rotation, lost his spot again and finally went back to the bullpen.

He was pressed into starter's duty Saturday because the Phillies have three starters on the injured list.

Moore delivered big-time in his spot start and the crowd of 25,100 turned the boos of Tuesday night into the cheers of Saturday.

"A day like today, coming off the field to something you wish you could put in a bottle and open it up someday or relive it, it's kind of what I was talking to myself about coming off the field, how good this feels to contribute in this way and be a part of the winning," Moore said. "So, in the end, I think it feels just like you think it would."

 

In other words, it felt like magic.

Moore spoke thoughtfully about the difficulties of the season. He even said it's still good to be around, an acknowledgment that sometimes pitchers with ERAs of 6.79 -- his mark entering Saturday -- get released.

"To be able to come through whether it's in the bullpen, the rotation or somewhere in between really is all I want to do," Moore said. "I just want to be a part of it and contribute in a positive way and be around these guys."

Manager Joe Girardi removed Moore, ending the pitcher's no-hit bid, after six innings and 76 pitches. Moore had not started since July 27 and Girardi worried about extending him too much and hurting him.

Moore did not protest.

He's a realist.

"Coming into the game with nearly a 7 on my ERA, something doesn't feel right about that, you know?" he said ."And where we're at in the division, I'm a Phillie before anything else, right? This is about the win today. So there really wasn't much else on my mind today. I knew we had a rested bullpen and a one-run lead so we were going to be in good hands."

Moore was there to help the team win, not necessarily chase a no-hitter.

"To be honest, no part of me has ever thought it would be important to get a no-hitter," he said. "I've been in the playoffs a few years and that feeling, I have to believe, is better than any personal achievement you can get in the middle of August. Coming into the game, I wanted to give us the best chance of winning, and the way things worked out was pretty cool."

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