Thursday, September 20, 2007

Myers A Closed Case

They had already taken two from a team impersonating the St. Louis Cardinals -- no Scott Rolen, no Albert Pujols, Jim Edmunds for one night, and no real starting pitchers for games one and two -- but their luck ran out as the Phillies went for the sweep. Closer Brett Myers came on in relief in the bottom of the tenth in a tie game on the road, a violation of baseball orthodoxy but less shocking on a team as depleted in the pen as this one.

He'd pitched the night before as well and had blown that save only to be rescued by his teammates in the bottom of the 14th inning. Last night was different, however, as he took the loss. The box score will show he gave up two hits. Apologists will say one was a bang-bang play at first and the other a seeing-eye single. Both were sandwiched around a stolen base. I didn't see the play and cannot say whether or not Miguel Cairo stole the base on Myers, Chris Coste or both. All I do know is that for Myers the series boiled down to this: two nights, similar results, different outcomes.

Myers is anything but the dominating closer the Phillies fantasized about when they moved him into the role after the season got underway. Indeed, opponents show little fear when Myers takes the mound. Now, on top of his evident inconsistency, he's being overworked. A few more outings like last night and he can begin his off-season recuperation...along with the rest of the roster.

1 comment:

David said...

As was the case when he was a starter, Myers shows flashes of dominance, but more often he's a lot more ordinary. The Phillies seem to base their confidence in his ability to close on those flashes and not the broader scheme of his performance. They have over-rated him from the start and this 'closer' experiment, while it might have made sense under the circumstances that Gillick couldn't be bothered to go out and find any alternatives all winter, is just the latest manifestation of this organizational delusion.

The point he doesn't seem to get was that he was pitching to contact last night; the other points that could be made were the stolen base, which absolutely was on Myers, and the warning-track fly ball hit by Speizio for the first out - a ball that easily would have been a homerun at home, and which I was sure was going out when it left the bat. I would say that this might have been a result of him pitching two innings the previous night, but he was hittable in that outing, as well.