Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore has been fantastic through the first month of the 2013 Major League Baseball season. In fact, if Boston Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz was not having a phenomenal year, Moore would be the best statistical starting pitcher in all of baseball.
The 23-year-old has recorded five wins in five starts this season, and will be looking to tie Buchholz with a Major League-best six wins when he faces the Colorado Rockies Friday night. Moore is third in the big leagues in earned run average (1.13) and third in opponent batting average (.121). He has also posted 38 strikeouts and a 2.53 strikeout to walk ratio in 32 innings this season.
The left-hander is pitching so well that Tampa Bay’s manager Joe Maddon and the rest of the coaching staff do not want to say anything to him that could mess up his focus.
“When guys are going really well, even as a Minor League hitting coach, the only thing I would tell them is, ‘Nice going. And the only thing I can do now is hurt you by saying something, so I’ll just watch you,’” Maddon told TampaBayRays.com. “So with Matt, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to just watch and say very little to him and just let him play.”
It will be no easy task for Moore to stay undefeated, as the Rockies have posted the best batting average (.284) in the majors. Not to mention, they have recorded the most hits (280) and crushed the third most home runs (36) in the big leagues. Colorado also does not strikeout much, and they have posted the best on-base percentage (.352) by getting their fair share of walks.
If Moore wants to get to six wins, he will have to toss his best game of the season.