The 47-year-old Moyer pitched a complete game, his second of the season. He became the third pitcher to win 100 games after turning 40. And he lowered his 2010 ERA to a very respectable 3.98.
"If he puts the ball where he wants it to go, we stand a good chance of winning," Manuel said. "That's what he did."
Well, he needs run support too, something very hard to come by of late. Over his last three starts, the Phillies had scored just one run in total.
But in the third inning Saturday, the Phillies' offense awakened.
Chase Utley and Ryan Howard both drove in runs during a four-run third. Jayson Werth hit a two-run home run in the fifth that barely cleared the right-field wall. (It also prompted Padres starter Jon Garland to tell reporters, "This ballpark is a joke, in my eyes.") Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco each had two hits at the top of the order.
"It's a long season," Werth said. "You go through ups and downs. It is what it is."
Manuel stuck to his guns for good reason: It's worked pretty well in the past. Not once in the last 13 games did he bench Utley or Howard. Howard has played every inning this season.
The manager's patience was tested, he said, only when the play in the field became sloppy. As for the offense's woes, no worries.
"I know our hitting is something that's definitely going to come around because of who we have and [what] they've done it in the past," Manuel said. "They still can do it."
In the third, Victorino led off with a single to left. Polanco singled to center. Utley went the other way and singled through the left side to score Victorino. It was Utley's first RBI in seven games.
Howard also went opposite field, stroking a double into the left-center gap to score two runs. That equaled his run production in the previous six games. Raul Ibanez drove Howard home with a sacrifice fly.
In 16 games from May 18 to Friday, the Phils averaged 1.8 runs per game. Their streak of scoring three runs or fewer in 12 consecutive games tied the sixth longest in baseball since 1920.
For once, a Moyer start was not wasted. He has a 2.34 ERA in his last six starts, three of which have been wins. He needed just 98 pitches for the complete game against a San Diego team that swung early and often.
"I think every person in this clubhouse has confidence in our offense," Moyer said. "Teams go through droughts."
Contact staff writer Matt Gelb
at 215-854-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/magelb