Going into the game, numbers like 4-13, 4.66 ERA, and 49-97 stood out. Brett Myers brought that record into the game, and his team was 48 games under .500. Never mind that, because it meant nothing. That’s why you play the game.
Myers shut the Phillies down with a nasty array of off-speed pitches in the Astros 5-1 win over the Phillies. After a first inning run got the Phils on the board, they could do nothing else as Myers struck out four and allowed only six hits. But all wasn’t lost for the Phillies on this night in Houston; although they fell to the worst team in baseball, their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now down to one with the St. Louis Cardinals loss.
Roy Oswalt looked good early on, but fell on hard times as the game progressed. He went seven innings, allowing 11 hits – the third time he’s allowed double digit hits in the last five weeks. It began to fall apart in the fourth, when Oswalt gave up two runs; two more then came in the fifth. Carlos Lee launched his 16th home run of the season – although launched might be a strong word – into the short seats in left field.
Oswalt’s velocity was fine, registering 94 on the gun a few times in his first start in front of his old home crowd. The crispness on his pitches was not there. The question is now becoming, can you trust Oswalt in the playoffs? He’ll have a few more starts before they begin and will need to find his old self; the shut down ace pitcher.
Who looked ugly tonight? Basically everyone wearing red and gray. Ryan Howard finished 0-for-4 with two K’s, looking completely lost at the plate. Shane Victorino is struggling with an average now down to .292 after an 0-for-4 night, as well.
Hunter Pence made his return to Houston and finished a respectable 2-for-4.
Luckily for the Phillies, they are still 94-50 on the season. And, they get to play the worst team in baseball twice more.