Phillies 4, Mets 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Brett Myers shook his head while he talked about his uneven season.
He hopes more performances like Sunday’s against the New York Mets will get him back to the form that helped him win 14 games last year.
Myers threw three-hit ball over seven innings to help the Philadelphia Phillies sweep New York and send the Mets to their ninth straight loss with a 4-2 win.
“I really felt comfortable out there and it just felt like I could throw it anywhere I wanted to,” Myers said. “I had a lot of confidence in what pitch I wanted.”
Mike Lieberthal and Jimmy Rollins homered for the Phillies, who moved back to .500—at 68-68—for the first time since Aug. 29. Philadelphia has won six of nine, but is 6 1/2 games behind idle Chicago in the NL wild-card race.
Myers (8-9) followed impressive outings from Gavin Floyd and Cory Lidle, who combined to allow only one run earned run in 16 innings. Myers matched their efforts in his first win since Aug. 8, walking one and striking out two.
“It’s been a learning experience for me,” Myers said. “I’ve been struggling and fighting my mechanics all year. I’ve been trying to find the comfort which I had on the mound last year.”
And Myers had some help when he needed it.
Billy Wagner, the Phillies’ oft-injured closer, made a triumphant return for the Phillies as a setup man after missing more than a month with a strained left rotator cuff. In his first appearance since July 21, Wagner pitched a perfect eighth inning.
“It was fun to get out there in a meaningful game and be able to do your job,” Wagner said.
Tim Worrell got three outs in the ninth for his 17th save in 25 chances.
The losing streak is the Mets’ longest since they dropped 12 in a row from Aug. 10-22, 2002. New York had just three runs—all on solo homers—and 10 hits in the series.
“We’ll just keep trying, go back out and work at it,” Mets manager Art Howe said.
The Phillies backed Myers with a four-run fourth inning off Steve Trachsel (10-13).
Myers hit a double and Rollins followed with his 10th homer of the season, and second in two days, to right for a 4-0 lead.
Trachsel gave up six hits, walked three and struck out three in seven innings for New York, which has lost 14 of 15.
“I made a couple of mistakes and that was it,” Trachsel said.
Myers relied heavily on his curve and pitched no-hit ball through four innings before allowing Wright’s leadoff homer—his 10th—in the fifth. Gerald Williams followed with a double, but Myers then retired nine straight before allowing Jason Phillips’ leadoff homer in the eighth.
Wagner entered to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” and received a standing ovation. He said he’d be back closing soon.
“The biggest thing was I just didn’t want to embarrass myself,” Wagner said. “I just wanted to throw a couple of strikes to ease the nerves. As the inning went on, it got better.”
Inconsistent release points and a lack of command led to an early season slump that threatened Myers’ spot in the rotation. Manager Larry Bowa said Myers had the stuff to be a future ace, but needed to work on his location and harness his emotions.
“It’s taken me until now to really figure that out,” Myers said.
Phillies RF Bobby Abreu made a leaping catch against the scoreboard in the first inning to rob Zeile of a hit. Then, Abreu was caught stealing in the first. … Rollins reached double figures in doubles, triples and homers for the third time in his career. Pittsburgh’s Jack Wilson and Detroit’s Carlos Guillen, also shortstops, have the same triple-double this year. … The Phillies also set the record for most homers at home, breaking the record of 101 set in 1977. … A crowd of 43,628 gave the Phillies 42 sellouts in 71 games at their new park.