Chicago (62-90) at Philadelphia (78-73)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Sep 20, 2006
  • TV: CSN, CSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Philadelphia Phillies hope Brett Myers can help them close the slim gap in the NL wild-card race in his first start since attending his grandfather’s funeral.

He keeps his regular turn in the rotation as Philadelphia tries to take the deciding contest of a three-game set from the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.

Jimmy Rollins hit a solo homer, David Dellucci added an RBI double and Abraham Nunez drove in two to give the Phillies (78-73) a 4-1 win over the Cubs on Tuesday.

The victory moved the Phillies within one game of the wild card-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Myers (11-6, 4.04 ERA) looks to get the Phillies closer to their first playoff appearance since 1993, when they won the NL East title before losing the World Series in six games to the Toronto Blue Jays.

The right-hander yielded three runs and five hits over seven innings of a 4-3 win over Houston on Friday, before flying to Jacksonville, Fla. to attend the funeral of his grandfather.

“Nothing was going to hurt me tonight,” Myers said. “I was out there pitching for my grandpa. I didn’t care if I was in pain or what. I had to go out there and do it, not only for him, but for the team.”

Myers leads the team in wins and has the lowest ERA among Philadelphia’s starting pitchers. He is 5-1 with a 5.07 ERA in his last nine outings.

He looks to continue his good form against the Cubs. Myers is 4-0 with a 2.51 ERA in four career starts versus Chicago.

The Cubs (62-90) counter with 29-year-old rookie Les Walrond (0-0, 7.59), who will make only his second career start.

The left-hander was tagged for six runs—five earned—and seven hits in 2 2-3 innings during a 10-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Aug. 27.

He has appeared in six games as a reliever since, allowing four runs with nine strikeouts over eight innings. His only previous major league experience came in 2003, when he went 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in seven relief appearances for the Kansas City Royals.

The Phillies hope to capitalize on the inexperienced starter.

“If you put the ball in play, things can happen,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “Sometimes you don’t have to hit the ball real hard if you find the right place.”

One Phillie who has hit the ball hard all season is Ryan Howard, who leads the majors with 57 homers.

He has been greeted with chants of “M-V-P!” during every at-bat at Citizens Bank Park, a sentiment Cubs manager Dusty Baker would not dispute.

“What’s weird is I don’t hear his name much,” Baker said. “When I look up and I see what he’s done, the fact that he’s hitting (.312 entering Tuesday’s game)… if you take him off this Phillies team, that’s a tremendous void.”

The first baseman, who won NL rookie of the year honors in 2005, has only hit one home run with two RBIs in the last 10 games after getting seven homers and nine RBIs in the previous six.

Related Articles

Starting Pitchers

L. Walrond Tor vs. B. Myers Cle
0-1 Record 12-7
6.23 ERA 3.91
21 K 189
12 BB 63
1.79 WHIP 1.30

Scoreboard

Wednesday, Sep 20