Sunday, April 6, 2008

Phillies Drop Second Running in Cincinnati

Brett Myers still has yet to prove himself as a starting pitcher this year, and the four earned runs he surrendered over the five innings he pitched this afternoon in Cincinnati didn't do much to recommend him. Myers didn't seem to be losing his control today. He didn't obviously lose his temper or his composure. He didn't make a lot of obvious mistakes. Today was a day when the Reds were just hitting him -- and that might be a greater cause for concern than if any of the other problems had occurred. Myers has shown the ability to be a lights-out pitcher, but when there's nothing tangibly off about his performance except that opposition seem to be hitting him, it's worrying.

Brett Myers did achieve today the minor historical distinction of allowing Ken Griffey Jr.'s 594th home run, a position that only drew some attention today to his lackluster performance as the one-ring media circus, not nearly so elaborate as during last year's Bonds chase, waits for his 600th.

Clay Condrey had an embarrassing outing today, allowing four earned runs of his own in two innings. The Phillies can't afford to have a bullpen this inconsistent, or to allow games in which they trail by a few runs in the middle innings to get out of reasonable grasp in the late innings. That's what loses teams those extra games that they will need in the long haul.

The offense was relatively unproductive today as well. Chase Utley continued to be impressive, but, unappreciative as I may sound in saying it, that's what we've come to expect from Chase Utley. Pat Burrel hit again today, and it's beginning to look like he's on a hot streak that hasn't been interrupted since last season. That was one hopeful sign in the middle of an otherwise disappointing game.

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