Mighty Myers mashes at plate
Phillies starter goes 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs
PHILADELPHIA -- Brett Myers' pitching was a little rocky at times on Friday, but he found an excellent way to keep from being removed from the game -- at least for five innings. After all, how could Phillies manager Charlie Manuel take one of his most dangerous bats out of the lineup?
Myers rapped three base hits in his first three at-bats of Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, giving him four knocks for the postseason. That equals his total number of hits in 30 starts and 58 at-bats in the regular season. He also drew a pivotal walk in the previous round, meaning that Myers has reached base five times in two playoff games.
"Usually, when guys are feeling good at the plate, I guess they really don't know what's going on," Myers said after the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 8-5. "I'm not really feeling good at the plate. I've got four hits all year, and I go out there and now I've got four in the postseason. I'm actually baffled as to what's going on, too. I mean, I just can't explain it."
Unfortunately, Myers' offensive escapades took a toll. In the second inning, when he went from first to third on Jimmy Rollins' single and Matt Kemp's outfield error, he rolled his right ankle a little bit.
"I have a mild sprain," he said. "But it's something that you can get over."
Myers is the eighth pitcher in baseball history to have a three-hit game in the postseason and the third in the past 84 years. The last was Dontrelle Willis for the Marlins in the 2003 NL Division Series against the Giants, and before that, Orel Hershiser had three in Game 2 of the 1988 World Series.
BRETT'S BIG DAY
|Brett Myers matched an all-time postseason mark with three hits in NLCS Game 2 on Friday, only the third pitcher with a three-hit game since the LCS era began:|
|Most Hits in a Game, Pitcher (Since 1969)|
|Brett Myers||PHI||LAD||2008 NLCS, Game 2||3||Won, 8-5|
|Dontrelle Willis||FLA||SF||2003 NLDS, Game 4||3||Won, 7-6|
|Orel Herhiser||LAD||OAK||1988 WS, Game 2||3||Won, 6-0|
Also accomplishing the feat, all in the World Series, were Jack Coombs (1910), Charley Hall (1912), Rube Foster (1915), Dutch Ruether (1919) and Art Nehf (1924). Myers, Ruether and Coombs are the only ones to collect three RBIs as well as three hits in the same game. No pitcher had previously collected three hits and two runs in the same playoff game.
So Myers is in some historic company, and his teammates were already steeling themselves to hear about it on the plane ride to California.
"I'm sure we're not going to hear the end of it," joked Shane Victorino. "I'm sure he's going to try to tell us how to hit."
Two of Myers' knocks on Friday were big ones. He singled home Carlos Ruiz for the go-ahead run with two outs in a four-run second inning. And he singled in two runs with the bases loaded in the midst of a four-run third. Myers added an infield hit in the fourth.
"They weren't just normal, regular base hits," said Ryan Howard. "They were hits with runners in scoring position, and hits that helped the team win."
A lifetime .116 hitter in the regular season, Myers is 4-for-5 this October. He's scored three runs, equaling his 2008 regular-season total. His three RBIs on Friday were more than he managed in the past three full seasons -- he drove in two from 2006-08.
It's all been needed, since Myers was a good bit shakier on the mound on Friday than he was in Game 2 of the Phils' NLDS vs. the Brewers. Still, it's safe to guess that Manuel will live with five runs allowed as long as Myers counters it with two runs scored and three RBIs.
"Never would have seen it coming," Howard said. "But he got three hits."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.