Brett Myers pitched well in seven innings, giving up no runs on seven baserunners in a 2-1 Phillies win over the Nationals. Myers lowered his ERA to 5.46 in the process, and the Phils remained 0.5 games back of the Mets for first place in the National League East.
Myers threw only 88 pitches, an astounding 63 for strikes. He got ahead of hitters, used his curveball and slider to perfection and his fastball looked pretty good. Of course, the Nationals are a horrible offensive team in the middle of an epic slide (one run in their last 28 innings). Still, give Myers credit for throwing strikes, something he didn’t do at all against the Mets in his first start back from the minors. His next start at Saint Louis will be a more appropriate indicator, but this time out he was very effective, and there should be room for promise.
Chase Utley stroked his 27th home run of the season for the Phils only runs. They let up a run in the eighth, also thanks partly to Utley. He blundered a possible double play ball and put two on for the Nats with no outs. Upon Myers’ exit, JC Romero got the next two outs, letting a run score on a give-it-up grounder. Chad Durbin got the last out. Yet again the bullpen shuts the door â€” what would this team do without them, especially Durbin?
Brad Lidge â€” don’t forget him â€” shut the door for an easy 1-2-3 save, his 25th in as many chances, extending the franchise record.
If the pitching doesn’t go as well, we’re talking about the offense’s inability to score off rookie starter Collin Balester, who was asking to get punched around. Instead, it’s a win against a bad offense, and we’re talking about a big performance for a guy who needed it bad.
Associated Press photo