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Moyer faces father figure Piniella in finale

Moyer faces father figure Piniella, Cubs

PHILADELPHIA -- From 1997-2002, Jamie Moyer played for Lou Piniella in Seattle. On Wednesday, the left-hander will start for the Philadelphia Phillies and close the three-game series against his former manager and former team, the Cubs.

Moyer, who will face Chicago's Carlos Zambrano in the finale at Citizens Bank Park, said playing for Piniella was like playing for another teammate -- and for his dad.

"I felt like I had another teammate on the team who wanted us to win, and that's what you want," Moyer said. "You want everybody thinking the right way, acting the right way and performing to the best of their ability.

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"He's passionate about being a manager," Moyer said of Piniella. "He's passionate about instilling the game in his players."

Moyer went through some tough times in Seattle, but appreciated Piniella's honesty and passion.

"If things were going well, he would tell me they were tell me they were going well," Moyer said. "If they weren't, he would tell me.

"There were numerous times when I played for him, especially when I was struggling, and I'd ask him, 'What do you see from your perspective as a manager or from your perspective as a hitter?'" Moyer said. "He would tell me. I can remember one particular time in Candlestick in Interleague Play. I talked to him and he told me what I thought. I walked out of the office really not believing him. I thought for the remainder of the day about the context of the conversation, and you know what? He was right.

"At first, it was almost like he was telling me something I didn't want to hear," Moyer said. "I went in there for the conversation so it was up to me to sit and listen to what he had to say, whether I liked it or not. It's nothing I disliked. I didn't necessarily agree with it at the time. But after I thought about it, and attempted to do some of the things he talked about, he was exactly right."

And that, Moyer said, is where trust comes into play. The player has to trust the manager.

"I'll be honest with you, he's probably the most favorite manager I've ever played with because of some of the traits he brought to the team and the consistency," Moyer said. "It was almost like a father."

Some players can't handle Piniella's honesty. Moyer said they need to remember that his comments, including any criticism, are designed to make the player better.

"If you're going to be a dog and not work at it and expect everything to be handed to you, I don't agree with that," the left-hander said. "This is an occupation and you have to continually try to get better."

Moyer developed his work ethic when he first came up with the Cubs, breaking into the big leagues in 1986, and was tutored by people like Jim Snyder and Dallas Green.

"I've got nothing but great memories of playing for Lou and nothing but great memories of playing in Chicago," he said.

And, after Wednesday's game, Moyer hopes Piniella can get the Cubs on the winning track.

"He's a very smart man," Moyer said of his former skipper, "and I think he knows people better than people think, from my experience."

Pitching matchup
CHC: RHP Carlos Zambrano (6-4, 3.36 ERA)
Zambrano is coming off a win against the Nationals in which he lasted only five innings -- but that was because the right-hander ran up his pitch count early in the game. Zambrano struggled through a 40-pitch first inning but gave up only one run, and it was unearned. In his past four starts, Big Z has posted a 2.25 ERA. His start against the Nationals was only the second time in 17 outings this year in which Zambrano did not go past five innings. He also helped himself by hitting a two-run double. Since 2005, Zambrano leads all Major League pitchers with 16 homers and 43 RBIs.

PHI: LHP Jamie Moyer (9-6, 5.58 ERA)
Moyer continued his mastery of the Marlins in brilliant fashion during Thursday's win. The 46-year-old retired the first 12 and last eight hitters he faced through seven shutout innings, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out four and throwing 94 pitches -- 67 for strikes. The only inning he even put runners on was the fifth, when Jorge Cantu broke up his perfect game with a leadoff single and Ronny Paulino walked two batters later. Moyer is now 13-2 in 15 career games against Florida. Against the Cubs, with whom he debuted in 1987, he's 3-0 with a 4.19 ERA in six career starts. Moyer was pushed back a day so Joe Blanton -- whose start was rained out after 1 1/3 innings on Saturday -- wouldn't completely lose a turn in the rotation.

Tidbits
Ryan Dempster will have an X-ray taken Thursday on his right foot, and if he's healthy, he could return to the Cubs rotation for the July 30 makeup game against the Astros. ... WGN broadcaster Ron Santo is missing this road trip because of a kidney infection. Former Cub Keith Moreland is filling in. ... J.R. Mathes gave up five runs on eight hits over three innings in Iowa's 7-2 loss to Omaha. Jason Dubois hit his 10th homer. ... Ryan Searle gave up one run, unearned, on three hits over six innings in Daytona's 5-2, 11-inning win over St. Lucie. ... Michael Brenly extended his hitting streak to four games in Peoria's 6-0 loss to Clinton. ... Logan Watkins extended his hitting streak to 12 games in Boise's 4-3 win over Salem-Keizer. Brett Jackson had two hits.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• WGN

On radio
• WGN 720

Up next
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Cubs (Randy Wells, 5-4, 3.00) vs. Reds (Aaron Harang, 5-10, 4.17), 1:20 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Cubs (Ted Lilly, 9-7, 3.59) vs. Reds (Johnny Cueto, 8-6, 3.67), 12:05 p.m. CT

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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