The Phillies have now lost two games in a row as Brett Myers pitches himself out of the starting rotation after being unable to get anyone out in the bottom of the third inning as the Phillies lose to the lowly Rangers, 8-7. The Rangers would take the lead in the first as Ian Kinsler hits a solo home run off of Myers’ second pitch, his thirteenth home run of the season, to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Myers would seem to have settle down after that, while the Phillies were able to score some runs off of Rangers’ starter, Kason Gabber, in the top of the third. The inning would begin with Gabber being unable to find the strike zone, as he walks Eric Bruntlett. Jayson Werth would then get on base via a fielding error by Gabber, which would send Bruntlett to second base. Chase Utley would then get the second walk of the inning, loading the bases. Jimmy Rollins then follows with a ground out, shortstop to first, which would score Bruntlett, tying the ballgame at one apiece, while moving both Werth and Utley up a base. Pat Burrell is then intentionally walked by Gabber to reload the bases for him to face Ryan Howard. Howard would go down swinging for out number two. Pedro Feliz would then pick him out by hitting a grand slammer off of Gabber, his ninth home run of the year, scoring Werth, Utley and Burrell, while giving the Phillies what should have been a lights out 5-1 lead. The Phillies’ inning would then end with Shane Victorino grounding out. After being given such a big lead, most pitchers would then buckle down and go after the hitters. But that did not happen with Brett “I don’t like leads” Myers, as he would proceed to have a melt down on the mound in the bottom half of the third. Kinsler would greet him with a double, soon to be followed by an infield single for Michael Young. Josh Hamilton would then get an infield single off of Myers’ glove, loading the bases, with nobody out. Myers would then proceed to walk Milton Bradley, scoring Kinsler, and cutting the Phils’ lead down to 5-2. A second straight walk to David Murphy, which would score Hamilton with the Rangers’ third run of the night, would be enough for Charlie Manuel to watch as he comes out to replace a struggling Myers with Clay Condrey, and leave the bases loaded, as the Phillies now lead 5-3. Condrey would get Marlon Byrd to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to get two quick outs, while Hamilton scores on the play, to cut the lead down to 5-4 Phillies, with a runner on third, giving the Phils a chance to get out of the inning with the lead. But it was not to be, as Condrey would give up a two-run home run to rookie Chris Davis, the first home run of his career, to give the lead back to the Rangers, 6-5. The inning would finally end with Jarrod Saltalamacchia lining out to left. In the fourth, the Phillies would tie the game, as Chris Coste hits a lead off home run, his seventh of the year. The Rangers would retake the lead in the fifth, when, with one out, Bradley would hit a home run off of the foul pole for his sixteenth home run of the year. At this point, both teams’ bullpens would keep the game close until the bottom of the eighth, when, with Rudy Seanez pitching in relief of J.C. Romero, he would give up a RBI sacrifice fly to Hamilton, scoring Kinsler, who has earlier walked, and has moved to third on Young’s double, giving the Rangers an 8-6 lead. That would be the different, as, with the Rangers’ closer C.J. Wilson pitching in the ninth, he would give up a solo home run to Werth, leading off the inning, to make it an 8-7 Rangers’ lead. After getting the next two Phils’ batters out, Wilson would give up a double to Burrell and then a single to Howard, which moved pinch runner Geoff Jenkins to third, who was held there by the third base coach, instead of taking a chance of sending him home, since the ball has rolled off of shortstop Young’s glove, to tie the game. Instead, Wilson would finally end the game by getting Greg Dobbs to ground out, recording his seventeenth save of the year.
Brett Myers gets a no-decision as he self-destructs on the mound after pitching only two innings plus five batters, giving up five earned runs on five hits and walking two batters, which would end up being costly. This performance would appear to have finally taken Myers out of the starting rotation as Manuel has finally lost his patience with him. The questions now are, what are the Phillies going to do with Myers and how will this affect both the rotation and the bullpen? Clay Condrey would take the lost as he pitches two and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 1-1 with a ERA of 4.36. Ryan Madson would go an inning and a third, giving up only one hit. J.C. Romero woud follow him with a scoreless, hitting inning. Rudy Seanez would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Kason Gabbard would also pitch a no-decision, as he pitches only three and a third inning, giving up six runs, only one of which would be earned, on only four hits. Josh Rupe would get the win as he goes two and a third innings, giving up no runs on no hits. His record is now 3-1 with a 3.43 ERA. Frank Francisco would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning and a third. Eddie Guardado would pitch a hittless, scoreless inning as well. C.J. Wilson would pitch the ninth, giving up a run on three hits, recording his seventeenth save of the year.
The Phillies’ offense, inspite of actually scoring some runs, is still mired in its collective slump, as almost all of their runs would come in via the long ball, as the batters are still swinging at the pitcher’s junk, thus getting themselves out. To this problem is now added the confusion that will be caused by Myers’ final meltdown on the mound in the third inning after being given a four run lead thanks to Feliz’s earlier grand slam. No one at this point knows what is going on inside Myers’ head, as Manuel will now have to decide who to use in place of Myers for his upcoming start against the Braves in Atlanta next week, as well as for him to determine what to do now with both the rotation and the bullpen in general since it is obvious that unless the Phillies can bring up someone from within their farm system, the replacement starter will have to come from the bullpen (probably Chad Durbin), and no one knows if Myers will be working from within the bullpen, and how that will affect the rest of the National League leading bullpen. Thank you Brett Myers for creating this situation. I hope that you are proud of yourself.
The final interleague series between the Phillies (43-38) and the Rangers (41-40, 3rd American League West) will continue in Arlington, at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The game will begin at 8:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Central). The Phillies will be sending to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (7-5, 3.27) to end their present slide. He is coming off a recent lost against the Angels on June 22, as he would pitch seven innings, giving up only three earned runs on six hits, in the Phillies’ 3-2 lost. He will be trying once again for his eighth victory while trying to avoid getting hit in this hitters’ friendly park. He will be counter by former-Phil Vicente Padilla (10-3, 3.74), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on June 22, as he pitched seven innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Rangers’ 5-3 win. This will be his first start against his former team. He will be trying to defeat his former ballclub, while hoping that last night’s game was not a possible precurser to a Phillies’ batting resurgence.
With the lost, the Phillies’ lead drop to a game over the Marlins as the fish defeated the Diamondbacks. The Braves are now trailing the Phillies by three game, back in a tie for third place, as they defeated the Blue Jays. The Mets are also three games behind the Phillies, as they spilt their doubleheader with the Yankees, dropping the night cap at Shea Stadium. The Phillies will once again try to break out of their collective team hitting slump and try to put some distance between them and the rest of the East before their day off on Monday.