"I felt like I had good stuff. I just had to pitch to their aggressiveness," Myers said. "Instead of trying to strike guys out, I had to try to get groundouts."
In the sometimes watered-down vernacular of baseball statistics, Myers will be credited with a quality start. He allowed four runs in seven innings, but only three of those runs were earned. It wasn't a bad outing, but filled with enough early potholes that couldn't be overcome, especially when he gets hardly any help from his offense. Would somebody please tell Jimmy Rollins to report to Citizens Bank Park tomorrow night - with his bat?
The Rays scored two runs in the first when an error by rightfielder Jayson Werth put runners on second and third for the Rays' three- and four-hole hitters.
Myers, however, gathered himself and got Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria to ground out to short. Problem was, Akinori Iwamura scored on the first one and B.J. Upton on the second.
The Rays tacked on a run in the second that could have been two except Werth nailed Rocco Baldelli at the plate to end the inning. Baldelli followed Dioner Navarro's single with a walk after a disputed check-swing on ball four. Home plate umpire Kerwin Danley initially seemed to indicate Baldelli struck out, but told the Phillies he was motioning to first-base ump Fieldin Culbreth who ruled Baldelli hadn't swung.
"I thought [Danley] called the guy out," manager Charlie Manuel said. "When he brought his hand up, I thought he was calling him out."
Tampa's fourth run came when Jason Bartlett laid down a perfect squeeze to plate Cliff Floyd. Small ball maybe, but big enough to tie the series at one game apiece.
"They had an aggressive approach off me. They were trying to get me early and that's something I had to realize after the first couple innings. I had to start making pitches that I normally wouldn't do," Myers said. "For me and [catcher] Carlos Ruiz to realize that early was the reason why the score stayed the same. Because it could have gotten ugly."
Myers finished with three shutout innings before Manuel relieved him in favor of J.C. Romero. The 28-year-old righthander is now 2-1 in his three postseason starts. He was effective in beating the Brewers in the LDS and gave up five runs in five innings to beat the Dodgers in the LCS.
At the moment, his next start will be in Game 6 back here on Wednesday. If there's a rainout, however, Myers could be moved up to pitch Game 5 on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park, where he's been more effective.
"I felt like I battled, but also, I felt like there was a few things that could have gone my way to where I'd only given up one or two runs," he said, before referring to his own .800 postseason batting average. "It's part of the game. Shoot, I got three hits that found a hole. It's just one of those things that happens that way." *