Add fatigue to the growing list of problems concerning pitcher Brett Myers, who surrendered two homers and three runs before he recorded his first out yesterday.
After the game, Mike Lieberthal, who passed Red Dooin for the most games caught in team history (1,125), said Myers “seems a little tired,” as a way to explain why his fastball arrived up in the zone. Myers agreed, telling Comcast he’s throwing well in the pen, but not getting it done on the field.
Myers lasted only 3 1-3 innings and gave up six earned runs, not even close to the output most have come to expect from the right-hander. He hasn’t gone more than 6 innings in his last four starts, and during that stretch, has given up seven homers, putting him at astronomical 23 for the season.
Mediocre finishes are nothing new to the 26-year-old, who tailed off at the end of 2005 as well. He’s at an age, and has the talent, to outlast hitters through the season, to be “the man” in these important stretch-run games, when the goal is clearly in sight. His ERA this month is now 9.45.
To the naked eye, he’s battling not just hitters, but an extra 30 pounds. The physical fitness of the pitching staff is an indictment of the players and coaching staff for allowing this to continue. There’s no excuse for it. Myers has the stuff to become the club’s keystone pitcher, yet for the second season, he’s ballooned to a self-destructive size.
Before the season, GM Pat Gillick said Myers was the player most likely to have a breakout year. He’s regressed. His 23 homers and 4.40 ERA are well off-pace of his final 2005 total. In addition, his off-the-field issues and in-game demeanor further separate him from the high-character of the rest of the club.
Myers is this season's greatest disappointment.