When Brett Myers was closing games for the Phillies last year, I remember thinking that he'd probably be successful in the role because, frankly, he didn't seem sufficiently thoughtful to be much bothered by any blown saves. He'd come out the next day and just keep firing. As a starter in 2008, though, it's clear that Myers wasn't immune to getting in his own head. Everything from his body language to his pitch selection betrayed a player whose confidence had left him.
At Shea last night, Myers didn't have the best of results, but I thought I saw glimpses of the confidence returning. He took dead aim at his own feet in the first inning, walking four straight Mets and allowing two runs--but he didn't give in. As he got into the middle of the Mets lineup, hitters like Beltran started guessing on when he'd throw the straight, flat fastball that got turned into an instant souvenir so many times over the first two and a half months of the season. It never came. Myers minimized the self-inflicted damage in the first, and allowed a third run two frames later on a seeing-eye grounder. (He also probably could have used Pedro Feliz at third rather than Greg Dobbs.) He ended his outing by retiring the last six Mets he faced, and got the side in the fifth on six or seven pitches.
Don't get me wrong: Myers' command early on was as bad as the numbers suggest. He couldn't locate his fastball (and its velocity was consistently 89-91, not the 92-94 he used to throw it). Whether it was nerves, a mound he says didn't feel right, or something else doesn't really matter; he wasn't effective and put the team in an early hole. But I saw some good signs last night, and it wouldn't shock me if he was effective for the Phils going forward.