Brett Myers followed the best start of his career with his worst, allowing five first-inning runs before recording an out and 10 runs total in the Phils’ sloppily pitched 14-8 loss to Florida.
Lately, there’s been a run on deciding moments in Philadelphia sports, including Donovan McNabb’s fumble Monday against the Cowboys, Ryan Howard’s go-ahead blast the other night and Pat Burrell’s homer on Thursday. Amidst the chaos of a 14-8 ballgame, the deciding moment came after the Phils pulled ahead 6-5. Myers gets ahead of Cameron Maybin 0-2, then for some inexplicable reason, he and Chris Coste decide on a fastball down the chute. Maybin singles, John Baker walks and suddenly Myers is waist deep in a big inning with the heart of the lineup coming up. The Fish hit the Phils upside the head for six.
You wonder how a game can be pitched so poorly against a team as familiar as the Marlins. Granted, they fish Fish can mash. Jorge Cantu needs just one home run to give the entire starting infield 30 or more on the season. But you know they’re looking fastball in most cases. How is it that Jamie Moyer masters them consistently, yet Myers and others cannot? One theory is they let their emotions get the best of them against a hated adversary. That’s where your catcher has to be on top of it.
I wonder about Coste sometimes, and judging from his diminishing playing time, I’m not the only one. Coste only catches Myers anymore. The last time he handled someone else was Cole Hamels on Sept. 7 in the nightcap against New York, and that did not go well (Hamels turned his back on Coste twice).
Before the game, a friend of mine illustrated the difference between Coste and Carlos Ruiz this way: Ruiz appears to be involved in the game, Coste does not. I think it's a fair observation. I doubt Ruiz would have accepted 0-2 fastball on Maybin.
Game chat: It’s late summer wedding season, so I’ll be away from my Saturday post once again. Tonight, it’s Joe Blanton (7-12, 4.82) and Anibal Sanchez (2-4, 5.87) at 7:10 ET. The Phils have hit Sanchez hard this season.
Standings: The Mets pulled back in front of the National League East by half a game with a win over Atlanta. Elsewhere, Milwaukee lost to Cincinnati, keeping the Brewers two full games behind the Phils in the Wild Card race.