Myers Defeats Sabathia with His Bat (And I Donít Mean Bodily)
by Mike Carminati
Brett Myers pitched a very fine game tonight2 hits and 2 runs in seven inningsallaying fears, at least mine, that his post-Triple-A-demotion mini-renaissance was over. But his most significant contributions might have been at the plate rather than the mound.
At two key junctures in the game, Myers came to the plate and, even though he delivered just a walk and a fly out, changed the direction of the game, once jump-starting the two-out rally that gave the Phils' the only lead they would need and once wearing down Sabathia just prior to another rally that removed him from the game.
After the Phils tied the game, 1-1, in the bottom of the second, Pedro Feliz was ninety feet away from giving the Phils their first lead when Myers came to the plate with two outs. After appearing overeager lunging at the first two pitches, Myers became suddenly defensive at the plate, fouling off three pitches and drawing a nine-pitch walk.
To that point (8 batters), Sabathia had not gone deeper than five pitches into any count. He promptly walked Rollins on four pitches, and then the turning point came as Victorino homered on a hanging 1-2 pitch.
Sabathia seemed to settle down, retiring five of the next six batters. After Carlos Ruiz grounded out on the first pitch in the fourth, Myers again came to bat. At first, his new-found patience almost did him in as he watched the first two pitches go by as strikes. After four fouls, Myers flied out on the tenth pitch.
After Sabathia threw three straight balls to the next batter, Jimmy Rollins, he lined a double down the leftfield corner. Sabathia then walked the next two battersVictorino intentionally and Utley, not so much (Actually, 3-1 ball in the dirt allowed both runners to advance and then Utley got the free pass). Before Ryan Howard stepped up to the plate, Sabathia was gone and apparently so was any possibility that the Brewers would get themselves back into the game or the series.
The Brewers now go back home relying on the ever-mediocre Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan to get them to another Sabathia start. And now the Phils know they can get to Sabathia, and if they can't maybe that can pinch-hit Myers to jumpstart a rally.