10/23/08 11:49 PM ET
Phillies Short Hops: Game 2
Myers delivers seven gutsy innings, but offense stalls in loss
By Kevin Horan / MLB.com
Phillies pitcher Brett Myers struggled in the first inning, surrendering two runs, and the Phillies' bats struggled with runners in scoring position.
The Phils had a chance to do some damage in the second, when Ryan Howard led off with a double and Pat Burrell followed with a walk. But Rays pitcher James Shields was able to set the Phillies down in order after that -- getting Shane Victorino to pop up to third, striking out Greg Dobbs and getting Pedro Feliz to line out to center.
19 -- The Phillies went hitless in their first 19 at-bats in the World Series with runners in scoring position before Victorino singled with Howard on second base in the fourth inning Thursday night. Game balls Shane Victorino
The center fielder was a bright spot for the Phils' offense on Thursday, with two hits -- singles in the fourth and sixth. He remains one of their most reliable hitters in the 2008 postseason.
The first baseman showed signs on Thursday night of emerging from what had been an extensive postseason slump. Howard came into the game hitting .229 (8-for-35) in the playoffs. On Thursday, however, Howard had two hits, including a second-inning double.
The Phils' starter got off to a rough start, allowing two runs in the first inning. However, he ultimately turned in a quality start for Philadelphia, allowing four runs -- three earned -- in seven innings.
Sense of October
Though Myers struggled early in the game, the Phils' starter is a competitor and wants to stay in each contest for as long as he can. That was never more apparent than Thursday night, when the right-hander battled through seven innings.
2 AB, 2 H, 2 BB
Comment: Ruiz reached base four times, including a double and run scored in the ninth inning.
7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Comment: Myers once again struggled in the first inning, allowing the Rays to take a lead that the Phillies' bats could not overcome.
"We had more guys on base than they had. We've had more chances to score than they had, like we just didn't execute and score the runs. We've been getting hits and we've been putting guys on base. We just didn't execute." -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel
The Philliess will hand the ball to Jamie Moyer for Game 3 Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park. Moyer, who led the staff in wins (16) during the regular season, has struggled during this postseason. The 45-year-old lasted only four innings against the Brewers in the National League Division Series and didn't make it out of the second inning against the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series.
Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.