Brett Myers didn’t get the job done, and the offense â€” sans Ryan Howard â€” looked brutal in yet another tough loss, this one a 4-3 result to the Astros.
Myers went six innings and surrendered four runs, including the decisive final run in that sixth, an RBI single by pinch hitter Mark Loretta (of all people). Myers sprayed eight hits and four walks in his 112-pitch effort, raising his ERA to 5.79. And now we have to be at a place of great concern â€” Myers hasn’t shown any indication of improvement in the past few weeks. It seems the impatient teams aren’t beating Myers, but most teams, taking pitches, waiting for the turnpike strikes, are striking him well.
Watching Myers, he just looks atrocious. Pitches are sailing up and out, the curve is the most hittable curve I’ve ever seen, the fastballs aren’t tenacious anymore. It’s very possible Myers is feeling the effects of a career of heavy, hard-throwing work. Maybe, just maybe, Myers doesn’t have it anymore. What to do with him? Who knows.
Howard made sure he supplied some lumber, going 2-for-4 with an early RBI double and two-run home run, his 14th of the season. His average is now at .209. But the rest of the offense looked bad â€” mainly, Shane Victorino continues to lay down in clutch situations. He filed out to end the game â€” though you could say Pedro Feliz shouldn’t have been on third (he was thrown out on the tag to end the game). Check this out:
Victorino with two outs, RISP: 2/20 (.100), RBI, BB
Victorino late & close: 5/27 (.185), 2 BB
Appropriately, his average gets better if the wider the score gap. With nobody on base he’s hitting a cool .303. Other situations? Ugh. Here’s the sad truth: Victorino is shaping up to be a fourth outfielder, not an everyday guy. Either that, or he has to be moved down in the batting order â€” his defense does justify him to start, but he cannot hit with the game on the line.
That ninth inning was especially grating. Feliz’ leadoff single and Chris Coste’s one-bagger set up a big inning off battling reliever Doug Brocail, with Jose Valverde nursing his face after a scare Friday night. Greg Dobbs should’ve never attempted a bunt â€” he’s in there to drive in runs. Once Brocail made a stupid throw to second and the runners moved up, Dobbs got trigger happy and flied one too shallow. Everything else was set up nicely for the ‘Stros â€” Rollins is walked for Victorino, who of course, ended the game on one swing.
The Phils need to salvage a split in Houston. If only to spare us our sanity.
Associated Press photo