Myers (L, 4-3) 2.2(IP) 9(H) 6(R) 5(ER) 1(BB) 4(SO) 1(HR) 3.86(ERA)
And with that, ladies and gentleman, let’s open the floor to nominations for the next closer for this ball club.
Yesterday afternoon, prior to the game, I wrote but did not post the following:
So, it comes down to this…
The Phillies are once again counting on Brett Myers to stop their latest free fall from becoming fatal. Myers, who has become the staff ace by default. Oh, sure, there are many who will point to his numbers and say he really is a top-of-the rotation pitcher, but I am not buying that. Myers may have the best stuff on this staff, but it stops around the neck. Nothing in his history suggests he has matured sufficiently to be considered among the elite starters in the league. Every time he takes the ball, the outcome is dependent on how his mates play behind him. A misjudged fly ball or errant throw is usually sufficient to throw him off his game. Myers is going to have to string together more than a few “quality” starts to make a believer out of me.
At about the same time I sent the following email to Jason Weitzel:
I really don't have a lot of faith in Myers. It all depends on how the guys behind him play. His last outing convinced me he is incapable of the maturity a lot of people thought he might finally have developed. Instead, he is always going to be a hot-head who cannot get over a lousy play behind him. If the guys play like[Tuesday] night, forget it. If they catch the ball, he has a chance to pitch well. He isn't an ace if by that we mean a guy with the character let alone ability of a guy like Maddux or Mussina or a half dozen other guys.
I decided not to post what I’d written for the simplest of reasons: how much gloom and doom can a man take? Against my better judgment I opted for a little bit of humor instead and posted the link below in How’s My Driving?.
Of course, by 7:15PM last night I wasn’t feeling humorous at all, and by 8PM, I was feeling positively steamed.
So, do we have any nominations from the floor? Corey Lidle? [pause here for effect] Corey Lidle??!!
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I don’t want to hear or read anything more about how good a defensive third baseman David Bell is. Skip the range factors and other measurements and consider this instead: the play that gives Bell the most trouble is invariably the ball hit right at him. As for the ones he does manage to hold on to, it’s too bad there is no stat for number of balls caught in bread basket or chest; if there were, he’d be leading both leagues all time.
Ryan Howard needs a good talking to. As potent as his bat is, he is killing this team in the field and on the base paths. The fielding part is hardest to understand. Last year he played a very good first base and certainly gave no indication of the troubles to come. A month or so ago I wrote a comment on one of the blogs suggesting that if any player continued to make the kind of mistakes that were becoming commonplace on this team, e.g. poor base-running or lazy fielding, he should be pulled from the game on the spot. A rebuttal suggested that sort of public humiliation was counterproductive and I agreed. I no longer think it is such a bad idea. Nothing else seems to be getting through to these guys. Six errors in two nights. And consider this: Abreu’s botch of the Reyes’ “triple” was officially called a hit and Howard’s running himself into a third out doesn’t show up as an error at all in the box score. Whoever scored that Abreu “effort” a hit was obviously one of the voters for last year’s Gold Glove awards.