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Phillies unleash veteran Moyer
Pitcher Jamie Moyer gets first World Series action in 23-year career against Rays.
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2008 15:25 GMT

Moyer can kiss goodbye to the bullpen for the moment [GALLO/GETTY]
Jamie Moyer gets his first taste of the World Series after 23 seasons in the majors when he takes the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Three.

The soft-tossing 45-year-old will be opposed by hard-throwing Matt Garza, 24, after the teams split the first two games of the best-of-seven series in Florida.

"It's very special to have the opportunity to be in the World Series," Moyer said.

"To get (this) start is something that I've been dreaming about for my whole life."

No nostalgia

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is not handing the assignment to Moyer on Saturday out of nostalgia.

Moyer, who relies on change of speeds, pinpoint placement and guile, was one of his best starters this season, posting a 16-7 record and an earned run average of 3.71.

"After all these years, I think he's earned the right to start a game in the World Series," Manuel said.

"I think he's one of the big reasons why we're here today.

"He won 16 games this year and at one time this guy was our most consistent pitcher, whether you believe it or not. He did a tremendous job for us."

The pitching match-up appears to favour the Rays.

Brilliant Garza

Garza was brilliant his last time out, beating the Boston Red Sox in Game Seven of the American League Championship Series to send the perennial last-place Rays to the World Series in their first playoff run.

He was named Most Valuable Player of the ALCS.

Moyer was the losing pitcher in the only two playoff games lost this season by the Phillies.

The Los Angeles Dodgers scored five runs off him in the first inning in his last outing.

Pitching for the Chicago Cubs in the 1987 season [GALLO/GETTY] 
The veteran, however, said he does not worry about failure.

"I've learned to be able to let it go," Moyer said.

"The sooner you can let that poor outing go and turn it into a positive – pull something positive out of it and become a better person or better pitcher from it, I think it allows you to become a better pitcher in the long run."

Back in the day

Moyer has had a very long run, pitching in the majors since Tampa Bay clean-up hitter Evan Longoria was a toddler.

"The age thing, it's not an issue, but it's been around for a while with me. I think I'm kind of over it because I've been around a lot of younger players," said Moyer.

"It's kind of weird to think about it, but back a few years ago when I played in Texas I had two team-mates, Nolan Ryan and Charlie Hough, that were in their 40s.

"I really looked up to them and respected who they were and what they did in their careers. And now I've kind of come full circle with it."

Source:
Agencies
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