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
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˝ 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
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).
Pat Burrell led off with a hard single off the glove of third
baseman David Wright, then Lieberthal hit his 14th homer, a two-run
shot into the front row of the left-field seats.
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
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.