Myers, bullpen, sink Marlins
Brett Myers allowed an unearned run and struck out eight over 5 and 2/3 innings, and the bullpen shut the door the rest of the way, as the Phillies beat the Marlins 4-1 to open their series in Florida.
The game also featured a two-run upper-deck blast by Pat Burrell in the first inning off Al Leiter, as Burrell extended his league-leading RBI total to 17, and tied Troy Glaus for the league lead in home runs with four.
Bobby Abreu supplied a terrific fantasy baseball line and generated plenty of offense, getting two hits, scoring twice and stealing three bases, which tied a career high.
Myers (1-0) got better as the game wore on, working quickly through the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Then in the sixth with two outs, Myers hit Carlos Delgado with a pitch and walked Mike Lowell, and Charlie Manuel made the call to Ryan Madson who ended the threat by getting Paul Lo Duca to pop out.
Madson stayed in the game into the eighth inning when things got hairy, as he gave up a leadoff single to Juan Pierre and a single to Miguel Cabrera. Facing Delgado, Manuel made the call for lefty Rheal Cormier who got him to fly out. Tim Worrell came in to face the right-handed Lowell and got him to pop out on one pitch to end the inning.
Billy Wagner brushed off the dust to earn the save in the ninth, his first of the year.
Placido Polanco started the game at second and went 0-5, stranding five men on base.
As a team, they left 11 men stranded, but three of their runs came with two outs: Burrell’s two-run home run, and an RBI single by Jimmy Rollins. The Phillies have now scored 31 runs with two outs this season, 11 more than the next best team, LAA.
Jason Michaels started in center field and went 0-1 with three walks.
As for Myers, his stuff - his cutter and sinker - had pop, especially in the middle innings, but one gets the sense he’s still not totally trusted to get out of jams. Though his pitch count was somewhere around 100, he needed just one more out to escape the inning with Paul Lo Duca at the plate, with men on first and second and holding on to a 3-1 lead. Manuel handed the ball to Madson, who got the out, but Myers was reluctant to leave.
In any event, the Phils get another good outing from a starting pitcher, and this time, the bullpen holds it.
The Phils are looking good at 4-3 and are riding a three-game winning streak on the road against two tough teams.