Right-handers Brett Myers and John Thomson tussle in a divisional grudge match tonight at Turner Field.
Brett Myers (0-0, 5.40 ERA) pitched his best game of 2005 against Atlanta at home, an 11-strikeout masterpiece in which his curveball was electric. Lifetime at Turner Field, he’s 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA. His toughest Braves' out has been Marcus Giles, who’s a .417 hitter against him. Chipper Jones, a .276 hitter against Myers, is out of the lineup because of a sprained ankle and bruised knee he suffered in yesterday's game.
Myers is trying to bounce back from a chilly start in which he walked five batters. Afterward, he claimed to have poor grip on the ball due to the cold conditions and improperly mudded baseballs. Current weather in ATL is 69 degrees and sunny, dropping down to 43 degrees overnight. No word yet on the quality of Atlanta’s rubbing mud. Dikembe Mutombo and Patrick Ewing would know more about it than anyone.
Myers will be opposed by right-hander John Thomson (0-0, 4.91 ERA), a pitcher that has never impressed me, but has been a thorn in the Phillies' side. Thomson does not have a spot in the rotation and is replacing the injured Horacio Ramirez. He has made two relief appearances this year, and was tough at home last season, going 4-2 with a 3.45 ERA. He's 7-4 with a 2.68 ERA lifetime against the Phillies.
Phillies win tonight. Call it a gut feeling.