PHILADELPHIA -- Matt Moore was playing golf Monday morning as the trade deadline approached, and he purposely left his cell phone in his truck. He had already instructed his agent only to get in touch if a trade went through, and on Monday, minutes before the deadline, one did.
Moore is a Giant, and he'll slide right into the No. 3 spot in the rotation.
"It's hard to keep the smile off my face when I start to think about the things to come," Moore said.
Moore goes from a Tampa Bay team that’s 17 games out to a first-place club he has watched from afar for several years. He noted that he’s happy he won’t have to face “tough outs” like Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey, and said he’s happy to follow the lead of Madison Bumgarner. “I remember watching this guy throw 300 innings,” Moore said, smiling. If all goes according to plan, Moore will be in the same postseason rotation as Bumgarner for years to come.
“(Tampa Bay) is where I was raised but I’ve been watching what’s been going on here for a while and I’m very grateful to be a part of it,” Moore said. “It’s quite a turnaround from where we were in Tampa, in bad shape. To be here in first place is a pretty cool feeling.”
Moore wasted no time fitting into his new clubhouse, making a tour of the room and chatting up position players and fellow starters. He said he’s looking forward to pitching at AT&T Park and getting his swings in the National League, noting that the talented staff in Tampa Bay used to bug Joe Maddon for at-bats all the time.
The Giants are counting on Moore’s left arm, and his history says he’ll be a strong addition. Moore finished ninth in the Cy Young voting and was an All-Star in 2013, going 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA. He had Tommy John surgery the next year and has been working to find those old heights. In recent weeks, Giants talented evaluators saw that 2013 version.
Moore had a 2.39 ERA in his final nine starts with the Rays, holding opponents to a .199 batting average. He said he has been trying to keep it simple, attacking the zone with his fastball, changeup and curve so he can expand when he needs to.
The Giants are hoping for more of the success Moore has had the past two months, and Moore doesn’t plan on changing. He did have to make one alteration, though. In Tampa Bay, Moore always wore No. 55, Tim Lincecum’s number. He’ll wear No. 45 as a Giant, and said he had no problem switching it up.
“Tim meant a lot here and he left a pretty big footprint,” Moore said.