Rays jump on well-rested Myers
The post-All-Star break resurgence of
His curveball was again among the game's best, and that made him exactly what the Phillies needed him to be: a legitimate No. 2 starter to follow ace
That NLCS start, however, came 13 days ago, thanks to the Phillies' speedy five-game sweep of the Dodgers -- and that unusually extended period of rest would prove to be a problem, which quickly became clear in Game 2 of the World Series. "Sometimes you get out there [and] your emotions are going to get in the way -- it's just how you control them," Myers had said on Wednesday; but emotions were not the problem for the sometimes-mercurial pitcher during Thursday's early innings.
Myers was clearly rusty at the start of the Phillies' eventual 4-2 loss (
After the game, Myers admitted that his long gap between starts impacted him early on -- although he also attributed the Rays' early outburst to the fact that he'd never faced them before and struggled to find the proper approach. Of his
Myers began to look like his old self -- or at least, the version that pitched after the All-Star Game -- starting in the fifth inning (he retired 9 of 10 batters from the top of the fifth until he was pulled before the bottom of the eighth). "He definitely settled down," said Upton. "I think we looked up in the sixth and he still had [thrown] only 60 pitches. It could have gotten out of hand, but he kept his composure and held us to just four runs." By then, though, as Myers said afterward, "It was a little too late."
In sum, Myers (7 IP, 3 ER) pitched well enough to contend for his third win of this postseason, had the Phillies' offense not failed. After going 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position in Game 1, they were 1-for-15 in Game 2 -- that one hit a
"I'm concerned about us hitting with guys on base," said Manuel. "It looks like, at times, we might be trying a little too hard. But we can fix that."
Indeed, even though Tropicana Field fans -- postseason neophytes that they are -- started, with one out in the top of the eighth, perhaps the most premature "Nah-nah-nah-nah ... nah-nah-nah-nah ... hey-hey-hey ... goodbye" chant in the history of sports (the next batter,
He'll only make that start if there