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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-07-30

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-07-30

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-07-30
At present, there isn't an opening in the Phillies' starting rotation for newly recalled left-hander J.A. Happ. But manager Charlie Manuel isn't discounting the possibility that Happ could be used as a starter again this season.

It all depends on Brett Myers.

If Myers, less than two weeks removed from a three-week stint in the minor leagues, finally begins reaching his potential as a top-of-the-rotation starter, Happ likely will stay in the bullpen. If he continues to struggle, well, Happ gives the Phillies an alternative.

For one night, Myers reached that potential.

Facing the feeble-hitting Nationals, Myers pitched into the seventh inning, allowed one unearned run on four hits and picked up his first victory since May 30 in the Phillies' 2-1 win Tuesday night.

Making his second start since returning last week from the minors, Myers flummoxed the last-place Nationals, who have the majors' worst offense with a .240 average and 389 runs scored.

The purpose of Myers' mission to the minors was to recover his fastball. In his final minor league start, July 18 for Class A Clearwater, he threw almost 70 percent fastballs. Against the Nationals, 70 of his 88 pitches were fastballs or cutters.

More impressive, 63 were strikes. On July 23, Myers walked four batters in the first inning against the Mets at Shea Stadium, lasted only five innings and got the following review from general manager Pat Gillick: "I didn't think he was great."

"They were aggressive," Myers said of the Nationals. "I felt like if I was locating my fastball, they were going to swing. I know I can do it.

"If they lose faith in me, I'll probably lose faith in myself. They've had faith in me all along. It was fun for me. I had fun tonight."

PHILLIES 2, NATIONALS 1: Chase Utley hit a two-run home run in the third inning and, for the moment, allayed concerns about his sore hip. Brett Myers allowed four hits and an unearned run and pitched into the eighth inning to earn his first victory since May 30. Utley and Pat Burrell had two hits apiece, as the Phillies won the opener of the three-game series and their third consecutive game. Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record his 25th save in as many chances for the Phillies.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: July 30, 2008

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