Phils to rely on Myers' arm in Game 2
Hot-hitting pitcher won't get to swing bat at Tropicana Field
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Phillies have Brett Myers starting Game 2 of the best-of-seven World Series on Thursday night at Tropicana Field against "Big Game" James Shields. But they'll have to rely on Myers' right arm rather than his potent bat."It's depressing," Myers said with a laugh on Wednesday. "That's what those other guys get paid for. I get paid to pitch. I'm going to just try to step back and enjoy this as much as possible."
Because the designated hitter is utilized in the American League city during the World Series, the loss of Myers' hitting prowess this postseason is no joke.He's 2-0 with a 5.25 ERA after a Game 2 win in the National League Division Series over the Brewers and a Game 2 win in the NL Championship Series over the Dodgers. Both games were played at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park and came after Cole Hamels was victorious in Game 1. Hamels defeated the Rays, 3-2, in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night. If Myers can follow him with a win again, they'll be the only one-two punch to win the first two games of each of the playoff rounds since the advent of the three-tier system in 1995. Myers will have to do it solely from the mound this time. He was 4-for-7 with three RBIs and a key walk in his two wins. The four knocks equaled his entire regular-season output of four hits in 58 at-bats. His walk in the NLDS against Milwaukee's C.C. Sabathia evidently started the run of hot hitting. It took nine pitches and every time Myers fouled one off on two strikes against the Brewers left-hander the crowd of 46,208 in the Bank grew louder and more vociferous. Two batters later, Shane Victorino hit a grand slam that put the game and Sabathia in the vault, 5-2. "They've been great for us, when we've been going through our bad moments," Myers said about the sold-out Philly crowds. "They're very boisterous with how they feel about how we play. We all know if we're playing bad and stuff, but they want us to know that they realize it, too. I think that's good for us, sometimes it could be bad. If you're playing well, they're definitely behind you." Myers trumped that 1-for-4 performance against the Brewers with a 3-for-3, three-RBI afternoon in an 8-5 victory over the Dodgers. In that one, he rolled his right ankle during the second inning, running from first to third on Jimmy Rollins' single and center fielder Matt Kemp's error.
GAME 2: JUST THE FACTS
|Tropicana Field, Thursday, 8 p.m. ET|
|Phillies starter: RHP Brett Myers|
|2008: 10-13, 4.55 ERA|
|2008 on the road: 3-8, 6.21 ERA|
|2008 vs. Rays: Did not face|
|Career vs. Rays: Has not faced|
|2008 postseason: 2-0, 5.25 ERA|
|Career postseason: 2-0, 4.72 ERA|
|Rays starter: RHP James Shields|
|2008: 14-8, 3.56 ERA|
|2008 at home: 9-2, 2.59 ERA|
|2008 vs. Phillies: Did not face|
|Career vs. Phillies: 1-0, 4.50 ERA (one start)|
|2008 postseason: 1-2, 3.72 ERA|
|Career postseason: 1-2, 3.72 ERA|
|Phillies lead series, 1-0: Ten of the last 11 teams to win Game 1 of the World Series have gone on to win the title. In all, the team that wins Game 1 has gone on to win 63 of the 103 World Series.|
|Game 1: Phillies 3, Rays 2|
|Did you know? The last time the Phillies won the first game of the World Series was in 1983. The Phillies beat the Orioles in that World Series opener but went on to lose the series. The Phillies also won the first game in the 1980 World Series and went on to win their only Fall Classic to date.|
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.