The Silver Lining in Myers
Brett Myers lost, but pitched well. A moral victory for the Phils last night?
The bad news for Phillies fans: the Phillies lost last night to the Reds, 2-0.
The good news for Phillies fans: Brett Myers pitched well for the second start in a row.
Myers was 2-6 with a 5.79 ERA after his first 11 starts this season, but is 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA in his last two. In his last 15 1/3 innings, Myers has allowed seven hits, four runs and nine walks, fanning 19.
"His fastball is back," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "The first time we faced him, he threw a lot of breaking balls and change-ups. This time, he was really dotting the outside part of the plate. He threw an excellent ball game."
Fastball location is key because it sets up a pitcher's offspeed pitches. Myers mixed his offspeed pitches very well last night, and threw his fastball for strikes when needed. He had a perfect game through 4 2/3 innings and a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings, but lost the no-hitter when Joey Votto hit a two-out double to left-center field in the seventh to score Brandon Phillips from second to give the Reds a 1-0 lead.
But if Myers and Adam Eaton have turned corners like the Phillies hope they have, and assuming Cole Hamels gets back on track, the Phillies' rotation is shaping up as it begins a terribly tough June stretch that includes series against the Braves, Marlins, Cardinals, Red Sox, Angels, A's and Rangers. Fifteen of those 21 games are on the road. They'll need good pitching to get through that.
Phillies fans pride themselves on their high baseball IQ, but I have to wonder why fans booed Myers during his at-bat against Ken Griffey Jr. with one out in the eighth inning? Griffey, who is trying to hit his 600th career home run, walked in a one-run game. Myers had thrown a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings, and the Phillies still had a chane to win. But it appears some fans wanted to see Griffey homer against Myers, rather than Myers pitch around him or get him out.
"I was trying to throw it right down the middle," Myers said. "I wanted him to hit it. I swear. I was trying to go right after him. It just didn't go there. I was out of gas. I just ran out of gas right there at the wrong moment. I didn't have anything left."
"It kind of irritated me a little bit," Myers said of the boos. "I just don't understand. I know they want to see a home run hit, but not in a tight game like that, especially last night and tonight. They should be pulling for us. Yeah, he's going to make history and hit a home run, but if he does it here or he doesn't, he's going to do it at some point. But you're supposed to be here patting us on the back. Believe me, I tried to go after him. I wasn't pitching around him. I'm not scared of any hitter."
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