Moyer, 49 and trying to return after undergoing left elbow surgery in the middle of the 2010 season, is in camp under a Minor League contract, bidding for a spot in the starting rotation. Righty Tyler Chatwood, 22, stands as his main competitor after righty Guillermo Moscoso threw poorly against the Padres in Tucson, Ariz., on Thursday (five runs, seven hits, three walks in three innings).
Moyer mixed in his cut fastball, a pitch he kept in his back pocket early in camp, and dominated. He threw just 45 pitches, 30 for strikes. The only reason he didn't pitch longer was because he ran the bases, going from first to third on Marco Scutaro's two-run double in the second inning, so manager Jim Tracy decided not to push him.
"It's all about each time out trying to make some progress," Moyer said. "Tonight, I didn't throw many curveballs, but I moved forward."
Just one ball was hit hard -- Angel Pagan's line drive into the outfield in the game's first at-bat. Moyer's best sequence came against Pagan in the fourth inning. He fell behind, 3-0, but came back to strike out Pagan swinging at a backdoor cutter. All of this was done with a fastball that didn't touch the mid-80s on the radar gun.
The performance came after struggling in a Minor League game against the D-backs on Monday, when he gave up two home runs and a double and saw six of the 11 batters he faced reach base in his 1 1/3 innings.
"He pitched four innings, had activity on the bases and I'm anxious to see tomorrow how he physically responds," Tracy said. "But he looks like Jamie Moyer. It doesn't look like he missed a year last year. His velocity hasn't changed. His repertoire hasn't changed. His energy hasn't changed. His love for the game hasn't changed. He's out there competing, and he's doing a wonderful job."