Thoughts from tonight's 8-5 loss to the Braves.
1) Brett Myers guaranteed tonight that his struggles won't continue for the rest of the season. Why won't that happen? "Because I'm not going to let it happen," he said. That said, the Phillies have some cause for concern until Myers regains the form that saw him become one of the more solid young pitchers in the league. He was hit often, and hit hard tonight by a team that entered hitting just .253 on the road. He gave up three home runs in his first 20 pitches. It's hard to believe a team can make it to the playoffs if it's Opening Day Starter finishes the year with an ERA at 5.93, which is Myers' mark after tonight's performance.
2) The Phillies struggled to get much offense for the first five innings off of Glavine, putting just one runner on base until their four-run sixth inning. They lead the league in come-from-behind wins with 13. But can they really continue to win like this all season?
1) Ryan Howard continues to put good swings on the ball. He hit a solo home run to the opposite field in the eighth inning and a long foul ball to the opposite field in his first at-bat. He wasn't doing those types of things when he was struggling. His hitting streak is now at six games, which was already a season-high.
2) Chase Utley extended his major-league leading home run total to 14.
3) Jimmy Rollins had a couple of RBI doubles, and Chris Coste went 4-for-4, the third time he's had four hits in a game in his career.
4) The bullpen once again performed well, pitching 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
Anyway. . .
There is no consensus in the clubhouse as to what ails Brett Myers. Chris Coste, who caught tonight, said he didn't think it was a matter of velocity. Charlie Manuel said it was more a matter of location, and said that perhaps Myers should be more aggressive and pitch inside more. All three home run pitchers were fastballs left over the big part of the plate. One thing pitcher, catcher and manager all agreed on is that the Braves seemed to crush anything that was in the zone.