The Phillies sent Brett Myers down to the minors and the guy they got back isn’t pitching anything like the Myers that threw to a 5.84 ERA in his first 23 starts of the year. Since returning from the minor leagues, Myers has made six starts in which he’s gone 3-1 with a 1.94 ERA and an 0.96 ratio.
Myers dominated the Nationals last night, throwing a complete game shutout as the Phils pulled out a 4-0 win.
The offense is still not firing on all cylinders. Rollins, Utley, Howard and Burrell are all struggling through a miserable August. Here’s what they’ve done this month:
Yikes. Sure seems like you would want those guys to be hitting better than the rest of the team. The worse news is this: they are. The Phillies’ hitters other than Rollins, Utley, Howard and Burrell have hit 219/298/347 in August (a .647 OPS).
The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals last night, winning 4-0 to improve to 68-58 on the season. They have won three in a row.
Myers got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout. He allowed nine hits, eight singles and a double. He struck out nine and walked one.
Emilio Bonifacio led off the first with an infield single, but Willie Harris hit into a double-play behind him. Ryan Zimmerman was next and he hit a ground ball to third, but Dobbs threw it away for his third error of the season. Lastings Milledge drew a walk that moved Zimmerman to second. Ronnie Belliard was next and he singled into left, but Burrell threw Zimmerman out at the plate to end the frame.
Jesus Flores led off the second with a fly ball lined to left that Burrell charged and had go off his glove for another Phillies’ error. Myers got Austin Kearns to fly to center for the first out before Anderson Hernandez moved Flores to second with a single. The pitcher Collin Balester bunted, but popped it up to Myers for the second out of the inning. Myers struck out Bonifacio for the third out.
Another big out for the Phils with the Nats’ pitcher trying to bunt after Bergmann bunted back to Durbin and Durbin forced a runner at third on Tuesday night.
Milledge doubled off the wall in left with two outs in the third, but Myers struck out Belliard behind him.
Myers threw a 1-2-3 fourth.
Bonifacio singled with one out in the fifth and the Phils up 1-0. He stole second before Harris moved him to third with a ground out to second. Myers struck Zimmerman out on three pitches to set the Nats down.
Myers started the sixth up 4-0. Belliard singled with one out, but Myers got the next two.
Hernandez led off the seventh with a single. Lefty Ryan Langerhans hit for the pitcher and popped to third for the first out. Bonifacio grounded to second for the second out and Harris flew to center for the third.
Zimmerman led off the eighth with a single. Milledge was next and got ahead 2-0 and then hit a rocket back up the middle. Rollins took it sliding towards second and flipped to Utley. Utley made a nice relay to first to complete a pretty double-play. Great play by Rollins on a ball hit hard by Milledge. Utley made a nice turn and throw. Myers struck out Belliard for the third out.
He had thrown 101 pitches through eight innings.
He came back for the ninth and got the first two before Hernandez dribbled a ball to second for an infield single. Aaron Boone hit for pitcher Marco Estrada. Myers got behind him 2-0 but came back to strike him out swinging 2-2.
The Phillies’ lineup against righty Collin Balester went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Same lineup as game one for the Phils, with Werth hitting second against the righty and Dobbs at third. Feliz was on the bench having been activated from the DL prior to the game (Les Walrond sent back to Triple-A).
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first.
1-2-3 in the second, too, but Burrell and Victorino both hit the ball hard in the air. Kearns made a nice on Victorino’s ball at the wall in right.
Dobbs walked to start the third and Coste was hit by a pitch. Myers bunted and the ball was fielded by the pitcher, who threw to third to force Dobbs. Myers has been terrible at bunting this season, but Balester just made a nice play this time. With one out and men on first and second, Rollins hit a double-play ball to Bonifacio at second, but Hernandez sailed the relay over Belliard’s head at first for an error that allowed Coste to score and put the Phils up 1-0 without a hit. With two outs and Rollins on first, Werth grounded weakly to third for the third out.
Utley led off the fourth with a single, but Howard struck out and Burrell hit into a double-play.
Victorino led off the fifth with an infield single in front of the plate. Dobbs was next and he popped a 2-2 pitch out to right for just his sixth homer of the year. 3-0. Coste followed with a single, but Myers struck out trying to bunt for the first out. Rollins singled to right and Coste moved to third. With Werth at the plate Rollins was thrown out trying to steal second. It may have cost the Phillies a run cause Werth reached out and blooped a 1-2 pitch into right field that scored Coste and made it 4-0. Utley grounded to first for the third out.
Victorino singled with two outs in the sixth, but Dobbs flew to center behind him.
Coste led off the seventh with a single. Myers showed bunt and with the count 1-1 and Coste took off for second. The pitch was outside and Myers didn’t bunt it. Coste was thrown out easily for the second out. Rollins grounded to second for the third out.
Utley blooped a double to left with one out in the eighth. Howard fouled out to Zimmerman on a nice play with his back to the plate for the first out. Burrell hammered a ball back up the middle, but Hernandez made an excellent play to take a hit away from him.
Rollins was 1-for-4. 3-for-his-last-29. One walk in his last 46 at-bats.
Werth was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Utley 2-for-4 with a double. He has one walk in his last 34 at-bats. In August he has been hit by a pitch as many times as he has walked (5).
Howard 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
Burrell 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
Victorino 2-for-3. When hitting sixth or seventh in the lineup this season he’s 20-for-56 (.357)
Dobbs was 1-for-2 with a walk and a two-run homer. I think the Phils should try Dobbs in right against some right-handed pitching if they aren’t going to start Jenkins.
Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.64) faces righty Tim Redding (8-8, 4.66) tonight. Redding has pitched well in three starts against the Phils this season, going 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.38 ratio. Jenkins is 3-for-6 with two walks against him, Utley 4-for-8 with a homer and Victorino 4-for-9. He’s been hit hard of late — in his six starts since the All-Star break he’s thrown to a 7.59 ERA with a 1.75 ratio. Opponents are hitting .331 against him since the break. In five of his last six starts he’s allowed at least four runs. Moyer is 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.14 ratio since the break. He’s made three starts against the Nats this year and is 2-0 with a 3.42 ERA but a 1.72 ratio. The Nats bombed him in the third game of the season, on April 3, but he was good in his other two starts.