Brett Myers pitched terribly in an 8-6 loss to the Braves. He gave up six earned runs (eight total) on nine hits in just 4.2 innings. According to Myers, Charlie Manuel, Chris Coste, some guy outside the ballpark, Myers had good stuff. Nay, great stuff.
“His stuff was really good,” Coste said. “Any time a ball was anywhere near the hitting zone, they killed it. He didn’t get away with anything. Other than that, I don’t know how to respond. Every time he threw a fastball, they were ready.”
So they’re hitting the fastball. Is the velocity down? Is control poor? Is it both? Probably, and it’s something that won’t fix itself. Myers clearly has lost a step, maybe three or four, in his pitching. He’s not a thrower anymore and he doesn’t have the psyche to be a pitcher. He doesn’t want to be a starter but he can’t be the closer. He’s lost in a trance, a once-effective Major League pitcher without an identity. It’s time to sit Myers and recoup. Find out the problem and get him ready for the summer.
Meanwhile the Phils made a valiant comeback but came up short, thanks to some poor plays. For one, So Taguchi hit into a double play that could’ve kept a rally. For two, Shane Victorino eagerly looked for the game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth instead of the single that would’ve made it a one-run game with Chase Utley coming up. Both Taguchi and Victorino are in their own little no-indentity lands.
Ryan Howard socked a homer to left field, a good sign for sure. He swung well, but only went 1-for-4. Utley added his ML-leading 14th bomb. Jimmy Rollins added an RBI double and an RBI single in the ninth.
Myers’ poor start doomed the Phils, and it’s at a point where we’re almost certain he won’t be effective when he ventures to the mound. Still, the Phils could’ve won the game. One other place to look for blame: Ryan Madson. He let two of Myers’ runners score in the fifth, runners that became the difference in the game. At this point, Madson is becoming a no-win situation. Just like Myers.