It was just eight months ago that Brett Myers was a staple in the back end of the Phillies bullpen. Myers seemed to be well suited for the mental drain felt by baseball closers. He would come in and let loose for one inning and wait to do it all again the next day.
Myers finished the 2007 season with a 5-5 record, 21 saves, and a 2.78 ERA as a reliever. He was able to dominate in one inning.
Now, Myers can’t seem to get past the first inning. In 14 games this season, Myers has given up a preposterous 19 earned runs to amass a 12.2 ERA in the first frame.
The Phillies have a knack for comeback wins, but it is too much for Myers to ask his offense to bail him out from a first inning deficit every time he takes the mound. As a result, the Phillies are 4-10 in Myers’ starts this year.
Although the Phillies remain 12 games over .500 and on pace to win 96 games, this does not bode well for postseason aspirations. Pitching wins in the postseason and a team typically needs 3 good starters to remain competitive. How would the Phillies, as presently constituted, set up their rotation for the playoffs?
Game 1 – Hamels
Game 2 – Moyer? Myers?
Game 3 – Pray for a rainout and an extra off day and go to Hamels again?
Myers has shown flashes of brilliance this season, but he lacks consistency. Either Myers needs to regain form or Pat Gillick needs to get on the phone to find another starter.
As previously reported, John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune writes that the relationship between the Seattle Mariners and staff ace Erik Bedard has seen better days. McGrath suggests that the M’s may deal Bedard at the MLB trading deadline and that the Phillies would be a good fit to land the pitcher.
I disagree. Look at Bedard’s stats. They are good, not great. He also doesn’t talk to the media or his teammates. Not exactly an ideal fit in a Charlie Manuel type of clubhouse. The Phillies’ run to the NL East title in 2007 should reinforce the importance of chemistry.
Although he’s not a household name, Aaron Cook seems to be a good fit for the Phillies. ESPN Rumor Central has placed Cook on their list of potential trading chips. Cook makes Adam Eaton type money, but he has certainly earned it. Cook is 8-3 with a 3.16 ERA this season. Most importantly, Cook is a notorious ground ball pitcher, which makes him an ideal candidate to succeed in Citizens Bank Park.
The easiest solution? Have Myers find his form quickly.