Brett Myers’ new pitching philosophy has led to the longest winning streak of his career.
Myers is 5-0 with a 3.21 ERA over his last six starts, capped by Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Montreal Expos. He yielded two runs and seven hits over 8 2-3 innings, striking out 10 without issuing a walk.
“I’m not going for strikeouts anymore and that has a lot to do with it,” Myers said. “I’m putting the pitch where I want it and letting the hitters put the ball in play.”
Myers, who retired 10 straight at one point, came within one out of his second shutout of the season before Brad Wilkerson’s two-run homer spoiled his bid.
With his new game plan, Myers has struck out 32 and walked just four during his winning streak. He has yielded just one walk over his last 33 1-3 innings.
“He’s 22 but he pitches sometimes like he’s 32,” manager Larry Bowa said of Myers, who is in his first full season in the majors. “Ten strikeouts and no walks (against the Expos)—that’s a pretty good day.”
The Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs 14-6 Thursday and outscored Chicago 20-6 to sweep the two-game series.
Bobby Abreu hit a grand slam and a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to highlight a nine-run sixth for Philadelphia, which has won 10 of 14. The right fielder joined Von Hayes as the only Phillies players with five RBIs in an inning. Hayes did it on June 11, 1985.
The Marlins’ three-game win streak was snapped with Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Atlanta, as Braves right-hander Russ Ortiz became the NL’s first 14-game winner.
STANDINGS: Phillies - 2nd place, 9 1/2 GB, NL East. Marlins - 3rd place, 14 1/2 GB, NL East.
PHILLIES PROBABLE STARTER: Myers (10-6, 3.55 ERA). Myers is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against the Marlins.
MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Dontrelle Willis (9-2, 2.67 ERA). The 21-year-old rookie phenom’s eight-game winning streak came to an abrupt halt with Sunday’s 16-2 loss to the Cubs. Willis, who boasted a 1.06 ERA over 10 starts during the streak, was rocked for a season-high six runs and six hits over just two innings, walking three and striking out one. He makes his first career start against Philadelphia.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Phillies - Mike Lieberthal, .314 avg.; Jim Thome, 26 HRs, 75 RBIs and 68 runs; Abreu and Jimmy Rollins, 11 SBs. Marlins - Luis Castillo, .318 avg. and 67 runs; Lowell, 28 HRs and 82 RBIs; Juan Pierre, 46 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Marlins, 6-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Phillies - Philadelphia is tied for the major league lead with seven complete games and leads the NL with six shutouts. … RF Abreu is hitting .371 (26-for-70) over his last 19 games with nine doubles, four homers and 21 RBIs. … The Phillies made two errors Thursday after making three Wednesday. They have 16 miscues in their last 18 games. Marlins - C Ivan Rodriguez is riding a seven-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .519 (14-for-27) with four doubles, one homer and eight RBIs. … The Marlins have made nine errors over their last 11 games. … 2B Castillo has 11 hits in his last 19 at-bats (.579).
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Phillies - 28-20 on the road; Marlins - 28-21 at home.
INJURIES: Phillies - 3B David Bell (back), 15-day DL; RHP David Coggin (shoulder), 15-day DL. Marlins - RHP Kevin Olsen (concussion), 15-day DL; RHP Tim Spooneybarger (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Toby Borland (appendicitis), 60-day DL; RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow), 60-day DL.