Brett Myers faces Derek Lowe tomorrow night as the Phillies open their season against the Atlanta Braves.
Myers comes off a solid spring. In five starts he threw to a 3.52 ERA with a 1.26 ratio. He walked just six hitters in 23 innings, a rate of 2.34 per nine innings that’s better than his career mark of 3.15. He made two starts against the Braves in 2008 and was hit hard in both. He was hammered on May 14, allowing eight runs over 4 1/3 innings. On September 24 he also lasted just 4 1/3 and was charged with six runs. Overall he was 0-2 with a 10.38 ERA and a 2.77 ratio against Atlanta last season.
Chipper Jones and Brian McCann both have a lot of at-bats against Myers and have hit him hard. Chipper is 10-for-30 with three home runs against him (333/474/667). McCann 10-for-27 with four doubles and a home run (370/414/630). Martin Prado 3-for-3. Kelly Johnson just 3-for-17.
Lowe made one regular season start against the Phils in 2008. While with the Dodgers, he allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings on August 11. Jimmy Rollins hit a seventh-inning triple off of Chan Ho Park in that game.
Lowe also started games one and four of the NLCS for Los Angeles and allowed four earned runs over 10 1/3 innings in the two starts combined. Lowe pitched very well in game one of the NLCS, but a Rafael Furcal error in the sixth was followed by a home run by Utley and another by Burrell. The Phils won that game 3-2. Game four featured a late home run by Matt Stairs off of Jonathan Broxton.
Lowe had a nice spring as well, making six starts with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.08 ratio. In 26 innings he walked just two.
The Phillies have a lot of ugly career numbers against Lowe. Feliz 5-for-23 (.217). Ibanez 2-for-19 (.105) with two home runs. Howard 2-for-16 (.125) with two singles. Rollins and Utley are among the exceptions. Rollins 6-for-20 (.300) with two doubles. Utley 5-for-14 with three doubles (.357).
The Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 at Citizens Bank Park last night. Jason Donald won it with a walk-off RBI single to right in the bottom of the ninth.
Blanton got the start and was very good yet again, allowing two runs on six hits. Again he didn’t get hurt by the walk — he struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. Durbin, Eyre, Madson and Lidge all pitched scoreless innings. None of those guys seem likely to pitch today given that the Phils play a game that counts tomorrow.
Werth was 2-for-3 with a double. Coste 0-for-3 with a walk. Bruntlett 0-for-2 and walked twice.
Burrell was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
Cole Hamels is on the mound this afternoon as the Phils face the Rays again (Burrell homered off of him in the first).
I would like to point out that the money the Phillies have to pay Jenkins this season not to play is very similar to the amount they presumably would have had to pay to have Burrell on the team in ’09. The Phils owe Jenkins $6.75 million in salary plus a $1.25 million buyout for 2010. That’s $8 million. Burrell signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Rays. I think we’re going to miss Pat’s bat this year.
Update: 4/5 The Phils 25-man roster is set and includes Miguel Cairo. Miguel Cairo and Eric Bruntlett is too many backup infielders to have on your team that includes 13 hitters (too many by one).