Myers injures hip in loss to Marlins
Right-hander expects to make next start, but isn't certain
PHILADELPHIA -- The unknown gnawed at Brett Myers late Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
He has been healthy for most of his eight-year Phillies career, but he suddenly finds himself wondering how seriously injured his right hip is and if that injured hip could jeopardize his next start and beyond.
He left the 6-2 loss to the Marlins in the sixth inning with what the team called right hip inflammation.
He had X-rays after the game, which he said showed "some jaggedness." Cortisone shots could help him recover. He has an MRI scheduled Thursday.
"It's just like a sharp pain," Myers said. "I wouldn't say it's like stabbing with a knife. I don't know what that feels like, but ... I don't know. I couldn't tell you. It's like a pinching. It runs down from my hip to my knee. It could be nerves. I don't know.
"I'm a little nervous because I haven't been hurt really bad. I don't like needles, either."
Myers' nerves are being tested. He has been on the disabled list just once in his career, but his hip has been getting worse for about a month. He said it locks up when he pitches out of the stretch, which means it has become difficult for him to put pressure on his back leg -- something that is critical for any pitcher.
But in the past, it might lock up a few times a game. He said Wednesday it locked up every second or third pitch.
"Today was the worst it's been in the whole month," said Myers, who limped to the middle of the Phillies clubhouse to speak to reporters. "Sometimes it will just give way. It's kind of hard to finish pitches when you don't have your back leg pushing off. Hopefully it's nothing serious and there's some treatment I can do to get rid of it."
But Myers also added that this isn't just a problem that cropped up in 2009. He has had this problem in recent seasons, too.
"It usually happens every year about a month into the season," he said. "I've always just thought, 'OK, it locked up that time. I'm fine. I'll get over it. Just keep pitching.' But tonight, it was like one of those where it was doing it every couple pitches. I knew something wasn't right, but I've still got to keep pitching. Today was definitely the worst it's been."
Myers said he believes he will be able to make his next start, but he didn't sound completely confident about it. That could be a blow to a Phillies rotation that just started to show signs of a turnaround. Myers went 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA (six earned runs in 21 innings) in his previous three starts before he allowed seven hits, five runs, one walk and two home runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Marlins.
He looked good through the first three innings. He retired the first seven batters he faced, and nine of the first 10. Dan Uggla hit a solo home run to left field in the fourth to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead. Myers allowed another run in the fifth to make it 2-0, then got into bigger trouble in the sixth.
He allowed back-to-back doubles to Chris Coghlan and Uggla in the sixth to make it 3-1. Cody Ross then hit a two-out, two-run home run to left field to make it 5-1.
Myers said the hip affected the pitch to Ross.
"I was trying to get the ball away and the stuff just didn't have the angle to it," Myers said. "It was tough to get it out there."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan checked Myers after Ross' at-bat, but Manuel said he left Myers in the game because Myers convinced his manager that he was fine and could continue.
Myers followed the visit by walking John Baker.
Manuel followed the walk by pulling Myers.
"I wasn't going to quit," Myers said. "I don't like coming out of games. Unless it falls off, I'm going to pitch. I didn't feel like it was going to fall off. I felt like I could get the next guy out and assess the situation after the inning. But I couldn't get that guy out."
The Marlins didn't have such problems. The Phillies, who fell out of first place, were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. They had the bases loaded with one out in the first, but couldn't score. After Matt Stairs hit his 17th career pinch-hit home run in the eighth to cut the lead to 5-2, the Phillies stranded two more runners in the eighth and left the bases loaded in the ninth.
"It seems like that's been the common theme at home," Stairs said. "We can't really figure it out."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.