Looks Aren’t Everything (Part II)
Damian Moss (AP/Keith Srakocic)
Damian Moss (AP/Keith Srakocic)

Posted Jun 26, 2003


Damian Moss started the season with a 5-0 record. His wild and unusual ways of pitching was unpredictable, but the team and fans let his style go, as long as he was winning games. That’s hardly been the case as of late. Again, looks aren’t everything.

It’s a no-brainer. Any pitcher who starts the season off with a 5-0 record is bound to have a promising season. Any pitcher besides Damian Moss. Adding to the lack of command and control that this southpaw Australian has, Moss has been highly inconsistent... Not only with his record but also with his pitches. He has walked over fifty. He can turn an 0-2 count to a six pitch walk, and on the other hand he can turn a 3-1 to an instant out.

Moss was on the mound for the final game against the Detroit Tigers back in early June, where he went three innings and gave up four runs to the Tigers. The TIGERS! I was at this game, sitting in the bleachers and shaking my head... Moss has pulled another Moss. Thankfully, the Giants rallied back to win this game. Rallying back against the Tigers, only with Moss on the mound for you.

Moss pitched the first game against the Oakland A’s, and even though this outing was just a little better than his Detroit game, it was still disappointing to know that Moss couldn’t help the Giants give me a graduation present that day.

I would have forgiven him for both these outings, if only he’d have beaten the Dodgers. Instead, Moss couldn’t even last three innings and gave up five runs. It wasn’t like Moss experienced a sudden slump in the third inning... He had the bases loaded in both the first and second innings, including a walk and hitting two batters, but he managed to get out of the jam, Moss style. Well, Mossy boy, you can’t continue to allow those base runners get on base throughout the entire game and expect to get out of the jam every time... So instead of pitching to a sweep of the Dodgers and a three game division lead, Moss helped the Giants to one of their two shut-out games of the season and dropped them to only one game ahead of the Dodgers. The Dodgers are a tough pitching team, and I didn’t expect much with the match-up of Moss against Nomo, but Moss didn’t even keep it close for the Giants to have a chance. Unacceptable.

That 5-0 record doesn’t look too hot anymore, does it? How did a 5-0 start go to a 7-6 overall record? Inconsistency, lack of control and command... and whatever else excuse you want to come up with. Too bad the opposing team doesn’t care about excuses, and they don’t care much for a pitcher who had a 5-0 start either. It doesn’t seem like Moss has anything else to prove to anyone anymore. He came into San Francisco and proved that he can be a holder of a 5-0 record, and after that he just walked out there and pretty much became a spectacle for everyone. Standing on the mound and throwing the ball into the direction of home plate.

Aussie Mossy better start shaping up, and it’s not like the Giants haven’t given him opportunities to do this. Since his 5-0 start, Moss has gone 2-6. A horrible proceeding of a perfect record. A rookie struggling can be understandable, although it shouldn’t be tolerated, but Moss isn’t a rookie. Sure he’s young, but you ought to think with the experience he has under his belt that he should be able to give the Giants SOMETHING decent. Apparently not.

So, options? Felipe Alou heard my call about Jesse Foppert and is sitting him for the upcoming Oakland series. Nice call, I wouldn’t want Foppert or Jerome Williams or Moss to be going up against the likes of Barry Zito and Mark Mulder. It doesn’t look like Foppert or Moss will be removed from the starting rotation any time soon, and with bad news on Kurt Ainsworth’s injury, the Giants are stuck with Williams for a while. I don’t want to see Ryan Jensen in a Giants uniform either, so I really don’t think it will hurt to try Jim Brower or Chad Zerbe in the starting rotation. Heck, we have them pitching early in games anyway when starters like Moss and Foppert are struggling... Why not try them from the beginning and spare all of us the pain of watching Moss and Foppert give up runs?

Pitching inconsistency has added to the inconsistency of the Giants. Everything looks well and dandy for the Giants when Kirk Rueter or Jason Schmidt starts on the mound... They get a few wins in a row, boost up the team’s confidence, and the Giants once again become a fair competitor and defender of the NL West... But when the rotation takes its toll, and Rueter’s and Schmidt’s turns are up, the inconsistency kicks in and a whole new Giants team is revealed.

A 5-0 pitcher... Excited? Thrilled? Happy? Satisfied? Not so much anymore.



Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is the Giant Prophet for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at shoot_hoops33@hotmail.com

The views expressed in the columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site's publisher, writers, or other staff members. The content on this site may not be redistributed without the expressed consent of SFDugout.com.


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