It came down to the eighth inning yet again, but JC Romero was fearless, backing Jayson Werth’s big game and Brett Myers’ stellar performance in a 5-2 win over the Cubs.
The win snapped the team’s three-game losing streak and the Cubs’ seven-game winning streak. They can grab a huge series split tomorrow afternoon.
Myers was stellar in limiting the Cubs from scoring. He gave up 11 hits — a common thread for his starts — but didn’t let the Cubs get one extra-base hit, the key to his victory. He got his outs when he needed them, eight for strikeouts. It mirrored his last start against the Dodgers, and really, most of his starts since returning. If the swagger is there, he’s a great pitcher. His ERA is now at 4.40, better than the league average for the first time this season.
Jayson Werth fueled the offense with two home runs and an RBI single (4 RBI). His presence in the lineup against a left-handed pitcher (especially with a struggling Pat Burrell) is of huge importance. Ryan Howard added to the scoring with a bomb to straight center field, his league-leading 38th, and two runs scored. Jimmy Rollins also had three hits, but none made a dent in the scoring.
Arguably the clutch performance in the game was JC Romero’s. Actually, forget arguments, it was. The eighth inning had plagued the Phillies lately, and when Brett Myers surrendered three hits (including a run) to start the inning, recent fears immediately surfaced. Romero was brought in to put out the fire against Jim Edmonds, but he was taken out for right-handed pinch hitter Reed Johnson. And despite Romero’s bad splits against righties, he struck him out. Then he struck out righty Ronny Cedeno. After walking lefty Kosuke Fukudome, he struck out righty Geovany Soto. Crazy jubilant celebration justified.
Brad Lidge closed the door for the 32nd time in as many chances. The win keeps the heat on the Mets, facing Florida tonight. Tomorrow a split is almost absolutely necessary.
Associated Press photo