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Myers Tires, Phils Lose in the Ninth

Brett Myers cannot pitch a complete game this season and it’s about time Charlie Manuel realizes this.  Early on Brett overpowered the Braves as he recorded six strikeouts in the first three innings.  He continued to cruise allowing just three hits, one being a home run to Edgar Renteria in the fourth; in fact, he retired the next 12 batters after the homer.  However in the eighth, two of the batters forced a 3-2 count on Myers, the first time hitherto any batter got that close to a walk.  Myers stayed on the mound in the ninth and Marcus Giles worked a walk after the count went 3-2 yet again.  This should have been the final sign for Manual pull Myers.  Granted after Myers surrendered the lead to the next batter, Tom Gordon blew any chance of a comeback by allowing a 3-run home run.  Taken on its own, it probably made sense to leave in Myers for the ninth as he was just a few pitches over the century mark but Myers’ ability to close games have been suspect all season.  Here are just two recent examples we’ve documented:

June 20th – "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."

June 5th – "Brett Myers had another solid outing, but he does continue to show signs of weakness towards the end of games.  Don’t get me wrong he is a great pitcher, but he simply not been able to close out games effectively this season.  He’s often having to be relieved mid-inning which makes me wonder if Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee should drop the "let him pitch until he gets in trouble" mentality."

I am simply confounded as to how Manuel has failed to pick up on the trend of Myers fading in the late innings.  Sure there were plenty of opportunities for the Phillies to win it – a single run off 11 hits is just unacceptable – but tonight’s eighth inning and first batter of the ninth in combination with Myers’ history of suspect endurance should have held a billboard-sized message to call for relief.  It just annoys me that it’s 4am, I have to wake up in two hours, and just spent the past two and a half hours watching a close game only to have it botched in the end.  I guess that’s just the Phillies for you.

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