The Phillies badly needed Brett Myers to pitch well last night against the Nationals at Nationals Park. Ruben Amaro Jr. said Monday that Myers is "going to have to perform well. We're trying to win our division, so we're going to try to put the best starters out there we can to win. We're not locking ourselves in with anything. We believe he'll stay in the rotation, but we have to keep our options open, and we will." Charlie Manuel said yesterday afternoon that "right now I feel like we've got to give Brett a few more starts to see where he's at."
Myers allowed one unearned run in seven-plus innings in a 2-1 victory over the Nationals.
It's a step in the right direction.
There's no question the Nationals are a bad team. In fact, they have the worst offense in the National League. But Myers did exactly what he is supposed to do against the worst offensive team in the National League: he dominated them and won. The Phillies hope it's something to build on before his next start Sunday against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Phillies still believe Myers can be the No. 2 starter in their rotation to compliment Cole Hamels. Last night was an important step toward getting there, but he's not in the clear yet.
In the Phillies Notebook: J.A. Happ is in the bulllpen (for the moment), Ron Mahay could be headed to the Phillies, Pedro Feliz is on the DL and Chase Utley's sore right hip looked OK.
We get the question all the time: whatever happened to Julio Mateo? It appears he's been hanging out with the Fratellis, who had a nice little counterfeit operation going in Astoria, Ore.