All good things must come to an end.
Unfortunately for Atlanta Braves reliever Peter Moylan, that includes his near seven-year streak of major-league appearances without taking a loss.
On Friday, the 39-year-old right-hander was the losing pitcher in Atlanta’s 10-7 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Coming into the game, Moylan had gone 208 major-league appearances spanning eight MLB seasons since taking his last loss. For a little perspective, that’s one year after legendary Braves manager Bobby Cox retired, and one year before Chipper Jones hung up the cleats. In fact, Jones started at third base in Moylan’s last loss before Friday.
Both of those men are Hall of Famers now. Cox was inducted in 2014. Jones was elected this past January in his first year of eligibility. He will be inducted next month in Cooperstown.
Moylan’s streak represented the longest active streak for number of appearances without recording a loss, and the second longest in league history. Only Trevor Miller, a journeyman left-hander who appeared in 694 career games, had a longer streak. Miller went 240 straight appearances without a loss from Aug. 3, 2006 to Sept. 22, 2009.
How did Peter Moylan’s streak end?
It all came crashing down early Saturday morning when Moylan was tagged for three runs in the 15th inning. The big blow was a two-run home run from Manny Machado on an 0-2 slider.
Moylan, who entered as the Braves last healthy and available pitcher, admitted after the game that he just didn’t have it.
#Braves' Moylan: "We played 15 innings and I came in and couldn’t control anything, really. It was just a frustrating innings. I’m way better than that and this team deserved a lot better effort than that.”
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) June 23, 2018
The outcome was a stinging blow for the first-place Braves. They scored four ninth-inning runs to force extra frames, then traded zeros with Baltimore for five innings. That put the pressure on Moylan, and this time he couldn’t hold up. The veteran’s ERA rose to 4.88 on the season.
Exactly how long was Peter Moylan’s streak?
When the Braves failed to rally, Moylan was credited with his first loss since Sept. 7, 2011. On that day, he allowed a walk-off single to Ross Gload in a 3-2 defeat against the Philadelphia Phillies.
If the tidbits about Bobby Cox and Chipper Jones didn’t blow your mind, consider that Moylan had not lost a game since President Obama’s first term in office. His last loss came when hit television shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Homeland” were just getting started. It happened while Tim Tebow was an NFL starting quarterback with the Denver Broncos, before LeBron James won his first NBA championship… with the Miami Heat, and two months after Mike Trout’s MLB debut.
The streak officially covered 208 appearances — five of which were wins, putting his career record at 24-10 — and lasted 2,482 days. That feels like a lifetime ago. In terms of Moylan’s baseball career, it actually spans several lifetimes.
What happened in Peter Moylan’s career between losses?
Though his two most recent losses were both in a Braves uniform, Moylan actually bounced around and was forced to overcome quite a bit in between.
A few days after his 2011 loss, Moylan was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff and labrum in his pitching shoulder. Those injuries limited him to eight games in 2012.
In 2013, he made 14 appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also spent time in the Houston Astros minor league system. He went on to miss the entire 2014 season due to his second Tommy John surgery.
In 2015, Moylan returned to the Braves, appearing in 21 games. He spent the last two seasons with the Kansas City Royals, before rejoining the Braves again this winter.
It has been quite a journey for the Australian born pitcher. Though there have been numerous setbacks, he’s racked up many more personal wins by bouncing back every time a hurdle’s been placed in front of him.
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