Amidst all the negativity surrounding the club, the Fightin’ Phils fought off a tough New York Yankees team to earn a 4-2 win last night. The Phillies relied heavily on Brett Myers, who came in with a line of 5 2/3 IP, 16 H, 12 R (11 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 5 K in his last two states, and received some defensive help from Jimmy Rollins and Abraham Nuñez. Myers rebounded with an ace-like performance similar to his ten-straight quality starts before those two big losses and allowed 2 runs off 6 hits, 6 walks and 11 strikeouts. Both the strikeouts and walks were season highs for Myers. He got into some trouble in his final inning and left with the bases loaded after throwing 124 pitches. This kind of exit concerns me as it has all year. Of course Myers is a quality pitcher and has the capacity to throw a complete game, but I don’t think Charlie Manuel should simply let him pitch until he gets into trouble. As the game wears on, it becomes increasing less likely that Myers will be able to pitch himself out of a jam – two of his walks came in his final inning. Manuel and Rich Dubee need to predict Myers’ stamina out there as to not allow a great outing to go to waste. Only JRoll’s diving grab prevented the Yankees from tying the game in the seventh. Luckily though, things worked in the Phillies favor and allowed the game to be turned over to Rhodes and Gordon who shut down the Yankees in order in the final two frames.
With lefty Randy Johnson on the mound last night, Bobby Abreu and Ryan Howard had the night off. Although Nuñez went 0-3 (he played second and Utley was at first) his key defensive play in the fifth validated his playing time. New York skipper Joe Torre said, "That was the play of the game." Playing right field for Abreu was Shane Victorino who continued to impress by going 2-3 with 2 runs scored.
The Phils will likely go back to their regular lineup as Mike Mussina takes to the hill tonight against Cory Lidle (winless in his last five starts). Moose, who despite sporting a 8-3 record and a 3.14 ERA, has been struggling as of late; with the Yankees recent slump (losing 8 of their last 11), Mussina has lost his last two starts. However, in his career he pitches well close to his home town of Williamsport, PA. He is 4-0 in Philly with a 2.13 ERA in five starts.
Finally, I wanted to draw your attention some nice work being done by the Phillies in support of the men and women in our armed forces. Besides donating equipment to the troops in Afghanistan, they honored all service men and women last week before one of the Mets games. I was proud to have my cousin, Lt. Jared Goodwin, USN as part of the festivities. Here are a few pictures: