Feliz hits slam, but Myers' woes continue
Right-hander's four free passes draw ire of Phillies manager
ARLINGTON -- Brett Myers stopped for no one, as he stormed from the visitors' clubhouse, angry and confused. He had nothing to say about his latest performance.He said it all with a disastrous third inning that led to the Phillies' 8-7 loss to the Rangers on Friday night at Rangers Ballpark. "I have no idea," said catcher Chris Coste, who normally has at least a theory on a pitcher's struggles. "I can't even begin to explain it. I could try to make something up and sound all smart and clever, but honestly, I have no clue. It's unfortunate."
Unintentionally, Coste summed up the feelings of manager Charlie Manuel, pitching coach Rich Dubee and many of the Phillies' decision-makers, who will try to sort out the shortest start of Myers' career and his worst performance of the season.Despite surrendering a home run on his second pitch to Ian Kinsler, the evening had promise for the beleaguered starter. Pedro Feliz unloaded on a Kason Gabbard offering to cap a five-run second inning, giving Myers a four-run lead to protect. Pitching in 97-degree heat in hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, against baseball's highest-scoring team, Myers wilted. The right-hander allowed a double, two singles and two walks, giving Texas two runs back without an out recorded. Watching his Opening Day starter force in a run with a walk was too much for Manuel, who angrily tossed his gum and lifted Myers. Before the game, Manuel surveyed the balmy afternoon and commented that it was "hitting weather," not realizing how right he would be. "He had a tough outing," Manuel said. When it was over, Myers was charged with five runs on five hits and four walks in two-plus innings, and the Phils suffered their 12th loss in 16 games. The Marlins beat the D-backs, climbing within a game of the National League East lead. Myers' walks infuriated Manuel. "It was his command," the skipper said. "He was close to the plate on those players that he walked, but you have to throw the ball over the plate. It looked like he was making sure that he didn't get the ball on the good part of the plate.
|"Can I say his job is secure? I don't know what to say. We have to find somebody to do his job first. Those are the things we'll discuss. When things go bad, we're always concerned and we discuss things."|
|-- Charlie Manuel, on Brett Myers|
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.