Lucas Harrell and Jamie Moyer entered spring training battling for a spot on the roster of their respective teams. Both were able to exceed expectations resulting in an unlikely matchup for the second game of the regular season. That’s where the two pitcher’s similarities end.
The 26 year-old Harrell has appeared in a total of 17 big league games. Moyer, who is the oldest player in the majors at the age of 49, made his big league debut when Harrell was only 13 months old and has toed the rubber in 686 major league contests. Harrell, a right-hander, has a four pitch arsenal and when he’s on his game all four are dancing all over the place. I’m not sure Harrell even knows where his pitches will end up, as his 5.4 walks per 9 IP would suggest. Harrell’s fastball averages 92 mph, according to fangraphs.
Moyer, who missed all of last season after Tommy John surgery, is a crafty lefty who depends on pinpoint control to keep hitters guessing. Moyer lost his fastball years ago but has still been able to post a winning record in each of his last five seasons. For a guy who rarely reaches 80 on the radar gun, Moyer has been surprisingly successful. If Moyer gets the win today he will be the oldest pitcher ever to win a major league game. The Astros would rather not be a footnote in such a historical achievement.
Harrell says he remembers playing as Moyer on a video game when he was a teen. The Astros starter went on to say that pitching against Moyer will be an honor and something he will never forget. Let’s hope the Astros offense can get it done against the soft-tossing lefty and even their record at 1-1.