Phillies Notes

Brett Myers

said Friday after his last start that he had pitched more like a Chihuahua and less like a Rottweiler.

Problem solved.

"I went to Taco Bell and I ate the Chihuahua," the Phillies hurler said before last night's game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park.

Executives at Yum! Brands (the parent company of Taco Bell) will be shocked to learn of the demise of their spokesdog. But Phillies fans outnumber Chihuahua fans at the moment - at least locally - so it seems a good thing that Myers thinks he has his mojo back.

Myers is 0-2 with a 15.26 ERA in his last two starts, and the Phillies desperately need him to bounce back Friday in a series opener in Cincinnati.

The righthander believes that most of his problems are mechanical. He first mentioned the idea on April 7, in Florida, when he allowed six runs in 41/3 innings in an 8-5 loss to the Marlins.

"It's my arm angle," Myers, who had a bullpen session, said yesterday. "I found that out today. I think my arm angle was down a little bit, so the ball was coming in flat. I'm throwing more downhill. If I miss down, it's fine. It's better than missing up over the plate.

"I've been fighting with this since spring training. It's kind of there, you know? It's definitely better."

Patience

The Phillies' offense hasn't been terribly productive through the first 11 games, but it has made opposing pitchers work.

Entering yesterday's games, four Phillies ranked in the top 20 in the National League in pitches per plate appearance: Jimmy Rollins (second with 4.50), Ryan Howard (eighth with 4.31), Pat Burrell (tied for 16th with 4.09), and Shane Victorino (tied for 20th with 4.06).

"Playing every day, once I get behind, I'm not worried," said Victorino, who saw 3.42 pitches per plate appearance last season, when he frequently pinch-hit.

"When you pinch-hit, you don't want to get behind because you want to get after the first pitch you can hit," Victorino said.

He said that playing every day, he can take the first pitch and see what the pitcher features.

"And also, following Jimmy helps," Victorino said. "If he swings at the first pitch and gets out, I don't want to swing at the second one. Then we have two pitches and two outs. That helps, too."

Extra bases

Mets catcher

Paul Lo Duca

left the game in the third inning after taking a foul ball off his right index finger. X-rays were negative.

- Todd Zolecki