Phils drop to second with loss to Fish
MIAMI -- Brett Myers used to have days like these, not that he'd care to remember.
They seemingly happened often from March 31-June 27, while compiling a 5.84 ERA that necessitated a head-clearing trip to the Minors. Sufficiently excised, the new Myers posted a 1.80 ERA in 11 starts since being recalled.
The red-hot Marlins rudely reminded Myers of the bad 'ol days in a 14-8 drubbing on Friday night at Dolphin Stadium. He surrendered 10 earned runs in four-plus innings, as Florida galloped to their ninth straight win.
More importantly, they remained relevant.
"Everything I threw, they hit," said Myers, who gave up five runs on five straight hits to start the game. "They're a hot team right now. I faced them a little over a week ago. I tried to take the same plan out there and execute it again. I tried to do the best I could with it. It didn't work out."
The Phillies entered the game with a seven-game winning streak after sweeping the Brewers and Braves. The loss sent Philadelphia into second place in the National League East, a half-game behind the Mets, but atop the Wild Card standings by two games over Milwaukee.
The journey is far from complete.
Myers struggled in his first outing after starting on short rest, a complete-game against Milwaukee on Sunday. Jamie Moyer suffered as well Tuesday in Atlanta, dealing with similar circumstances.
"It might have something to do with it," manager Charlie Manuel said.
"I felt fine," Myers said. "I felt strong in the first inning."
The five-run first erased a 2-0 lead that Philadelphia had taken on Florida starter Josh Johnson, who gave up two runs in each of the first two innings.
Johnson gave up the lead in the fift, when Ryan Howard belted his Major League-leading 46th home run, a two-run shot.
Myers, who had retired 12 of 13 after Dan Uggla's first-inning two-run homer, gave it back by again letting the first five batters to reach.
After Uggla singled in the go-ahead run, Manuel had seen enough. Rudy Seanez relieved allowed a run on a groundout and a three-run homer to Alfredo Amezaga.
"They're real hot right now," Myers said. "They have a lot of confidence and don't believe anybody can stop 'em. We have to come out and stop 'em [Saturday]."
With the Phillies' magic number for clinching a playoff spot at seven, the Marlins are 4 1/2 games back of the Wild Card leaders and five games behind the Mets in the NL East.
If the Marlins are going down, Uggla said earlier this week they're taking as many teams as possible down with them. That's how Florida plans to play its final eight games.
"We're relentless, we're not going to give up," Florida's Cody Ross said. "We know how big this series is, and it was a good start for us to get on the right track and win the first game. Until we have that 'X' next to our name, we're going to go out there and play."
Anything is possible.
"They're five out with eight to play," Manuel said. "They can still win. Stranger things have happened, but you keep playing it out. They play us and the Mets. If they beat us, they deserve to win, that's how I look at it. It's up to us to make sure we get them."