The Brett Myers comeback is really taking shape. The right-hander threw 82 strikes in 119 pitches, striking out nine while scattering (honestly) nine hits in his complete-game shutout of the Nationals. The Phillies won 4-0.
This game was about Myers completely reclaiming both his pitches and his swagger. His curveball was nailing the spots, his fastball was generating enough speed and staying in or near the strike zone, his tertiary pitches did their job. He let up a couple hits (almost one in each inning), but nothing was hit very hard. Only Lastings Milledge knocked an extra-base hit. And he received some nice defense, including a “Die Hard”-quality double play from Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley in the eighth inning.
After running through the meat of the order unscathed, Collin Balester ran into trouble, walking Greg Dobbs and hitting Chris Coste. Jimmy Rollins got Dobbs home with a ground out that wasn’t. Dobbs added to the lead with an empirical two-run blast, and Jayson Werth doubled Coste home later in the inning. Rollins collected a single in that inning and was rewarded with a healthy dose of cheers. He proceeded to get thrown out oversliding his steal of second.
To add, it was nice to see Utley grab a couple hits, and what else can be said about Shane Victorino? He had two hits and a run. He continues to be the team’s offensive MVP in the second half.
Back to Myers. Yes, it was Washington he dominated, but what a confidence boost. Since returning from the minor leagues, Myers has been almost unrelenting, scoring an ERA under 2.00 and showing absolute composure on the hill. Yeah his fire has returned, but his focus is back, too. Baserunner? Whatever, just throw the damn ball. And the proof is in the pudding. If Myers can do close to this kind of stuff down the stretch, the starting rotation will be all set.
Associated Press photo