LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Brett Myers said last night his hip problem was at the root of his shaky start to the 2009 season.
Myers said it affected him "a lot" en route to a 4-3 record with a 4.66 ERA before he went on the disabled list in May. He also had given up 17 home runs in 63 2/3 innings before his trip to the DL.
Yesterday, in his second rehab start since June 4 hip surgery to repair a torn labrum, Myers worked a scoreless first inning for the Lakewood BlueClaws of the Class A South Atlantic League against the Lake County Captains, a Cleveland Indians affiliate.
"Today my velocity was 93-94 miles an hour," Myers said. "When I was starting [for the Phillies] I was 88 to maybe hitting 91. [The hip injury] definitely was a factor in the back of my mind. I knew if I let one go, I might have had one of those symptoms where it would lock up or be painful.
"I haven't felt anything [since the surgery], luckily enough," Myers said. "The doctor did a very good job, my velocity is definitely a lot better than it was when I was hurt. That's not in the back of my mind anymore."
If anyone who was driving the 60 miles from Philadelphia to Lakewood yesterday to watch Myers' rehab start arrived late, they missed it.
Captains leadoff batter Delvi Cid grounded the first pitch to second base on a fastball that registered 93 mph on the FirstEnergy Park radar gun.
Myers went on to throw a called third strike past Bo Greenwell on an 80-mph breaking ball.
He walked Nate Recknagel before cleanup batter Chris Nash lined a ball to center. It was handled by Lakewood 19-year-old speedster Anthony Gose, and Myers' evening had concluded. Lake County went on to win, 2-0.
Myers threw a scoreless inning last Thursday for the Clearwater Threshers of the Class A Florida State League, allowing two hits and striking out three.
Myers said the most difficult part of the rehab has been watching the Phillies play on television and not being a part of it.
"But then you get to yell at the TV," he said. "You can't yell when you're out there.
"I'd like to get back tomorrow if I had a say-so," he said. "I know that's not going to happen. Hopefully I can get through these next rehab starts healthy and help them out in September."
The Phillies have said they expect him to make four or five rehab starts before he rejoins the ballclub.
Myers said he was unsure when he will pitch again.