Considering that you had a down then up year, when you were at your lowest point in the minors, did you ever envision that this day would come and that it would come this soon?
BRETT MYERS: I mean, I knew that I needed to go down and take responsibility for how I was pitching. I needed to get it right. In order for me to be successful I needed to figure things out and I did. And it was good for me and I think for the team, because I was able to come back with some confidence and be able to pitch in bigger games, and kind of got the feel back for starting pitching again.
Obviously it's kind of funny that you got so many accolades for your hitting in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and now you're out of the lineup for DH?
BRETT MYERS: It's depressing (laughter). That's what those other guys get paid for. I get paid to pitch. I'm going to just try to step back and enjoy this as much as possible. Some guys have waited 22 years, like Jamie Moyer. To get in this situation. I'm just going to go out and have fun and pitch.
During your time in Lehigh Valley, I can't remember the pitching coach's name. You had a good report. Is there something he triggered on your visit to Triple A that was the key?
BRETT MYERS: His name is Rod Nichols. He's been a good buddy of mine. He was basically my first pitching coach for a full season. He's kind of always had an insight into how my mechanics were. And he really challenged me mentally and physically, which is good for me. Some of the stuff he says would kind of make me think. And it's not necessarily about pitching or anything like that. He kind of triggers you, I don't know what the heck he said. But then when you feel it and you get it, then you're like, oh, that's what he meant by it.
It's nothing really specific, just more or less seeing him and talking to him about stuff. He made the game fun again.
A question about the raucous crowds in Philly: There's a saying in hockey about loud crowds, that they're worth a goal a game to the home team. In baseball terms what do you think the crowds are worth to the Phillies?
BRETT MYERS: They've been great for us, when we've been going through our bad moments. But they're very boisterous with how they feel about how we play. We all know if we're playing bad and stuff, but they want us to know that they realize it, too. I think that's good for us, sometimes it could be bad. If you're playing well, they're definitely behind you.
Even in the playoffs I had a rough inning the first inning against the Brewers, and had bases loaded. They're up cheering for me, like trying to pull me through. And I think that's huge. That just shows that they stand behind their players in that city.
You just mentioned it, what were you going through mentally trying to make the conversion back from being a reliever to a starter, because I know you really were comfortable in that role.
BRETT MYERS: I had to get away from trying to strike everybody out. As a closer, strikeouts look good when you're a closer. And you can let it go for one inning. I tried to do that early in the year, was just trying to strike everybody out and I was falling behind in counts or going full count, was throwing too much pitches instead of just throwing it and putting the ball in play and letting the defense work behind me.
As a closer, you don't want to put it in play, you want to be a strikeout monster out there. As a starter you have to take a step back and take a little off, and try to make a good pitch to get ground balls. One pitch outs are great as a starter. It just gets you deeper in the game.
How do you think playing there in front of those fans and having the feedback that you sometimes do has toughened the team, especially those of you who have grown up with it, basically?
BRETT MYERS: You know, I think it's going to be tough on any opposing team to come in and play in our ballpark. It's kind of intimidating, because the Philly fans have such a reputation about booing Santa Claus and stuff like that. But they stand behind us, regardless. At least they have this year, and even last year they did. And it's cool to be around that city when the team is doing well. It's fun to be there. When the Sixers were going to the playoffs and the Eagles went to the Super Bowl, it's a great town to be in when the sports teams are doing good.
With that being said, how aware are you the city is desperate for a championship? How much do you think about that as you go through this?
BRETT MYERS: We owe it to ourselves, but I kind of feel like I owe it to the city. I've been there for six, seven years now, and it's kind of -- it's not fun to know that when you're coming into the season that they're talking about, oh, we could have a chance.
But we can't look too much into all the things that they're saying about stuff like that. We've just got to go play. It would be huge for the city, for that city, especially, because it is so long since they've had a championship. Some cities got spoiled over it, and they quit coming to games and stuff like that. And in Atlanta, their attendance isn't as big as ours right now. They want us to win. Our fans are there for us, and they want us to win. We're going to try to bring it home for them.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.