Pitcher Brett Myers will find out soon enough whether time is on his side.
Myers took the mound to an indifferent public one week ago in San Francisco, but fan reaction back home could be a different story. Though no official protests have been planned according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies handling of Myers in the wake of his domistic violence charge left the public shattered
Eyewitness accounts and police say Myers allegedly grabbed his wife by the hair and smacked her in the face alongside a Boston street back on June 22. The team faced a public outcry days later when Myers was allowed to pitch his next turn in Boston, generating a perception of apathy toward domestic violence. Later, statements made by Bill Giles and teammate Mike Lieberthal indicated the incident wasn’t as severe as the public perceived. In a news conference before his last start, Myers (pictured right at that news conference) said he was humbled by the experience.
In any event, the furor surrounding the incident has, in fact, cooled, and it is in Beerleaguer’s opinion that reaction at Citizen’s Bank Park will not be as severe as first anticipated. I could be wrong, but that's my feeling. It’s hot, it’s oppressive, and it’s likely fans will stir as little as possible.
Since the break, the Phils have been playing some pretty good ball. They brushed aside the Braves again last night, improving to 6-1 against their division foes in a 6-5 come from behind win, their second in a row.
In their last nine games, they’re 6-3 and hitting .308. Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 22 games yesterday, which ties Nomar Garciaparra for the second longest streak this season.
In addition, the Phils have rallied for big innings without the long ball, getting surprise production from the bottom of the order, particularly David Bell, who went 4-4 last night.
Myers (6-3, 3.77 ERA) is coming off a very good 7 inning, 2 ER start against San Francisco. He’s pitched better than most seasons at home, going 3-2 with a 3.64 ERA at Citizen's Bank Park. He faces the surprising Chuck James (4-0, 3.72).