KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Brett Myers looked exactly one month ahead, to opening day against the Philadelphia Phillies.
``They're just another jersey and another name on the back,' Myers said of his former team Tuesday after pitching two shutout innings for the Houston Astros in a 3-0 exhibition loss to the Atlanta Braves.
``It's not anything you think of to where you want to give it to 'em. You do the best you can, but you try to do that with every team.'
The opening day assignment hasn't been an issue in Houston for a long time, nor does it appear to be a big issue this spring. But the fact that the Astros will open the season with a three-game series in Philadelphia provides a little twist. Myers is likely to start to start the opener for Houston and longtime Astros star Roy Oswalt will probably start one of the games for the Phillies.
Oswalt, traded to the Phillies on July 29 after pitching eight straight season openers for the Astros, is now with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels on a loaded Phillies rotation.
``I don't really care, honestly,' Myers said. ``I don't really look at it like that. It doesn't matter to me. There's usually a goat on a team every year, and one of those guys is probably going to pitch his rear end off and not get the wins, and stuff like that. There's always a guy like that on every team, and you never know who it's going to be.
``All those guys are very talented. They're very good pitchers, they're fun to watch, but it's baseball. We'll see what happens.'
After eight seasons with the Philles, Myers had his best season with the Astros in 2010, going 14-8 with a 3.14 earned run average.
He hasn't been given the opening day job yet, but it seems to be a matter of when, not if.
``You can probably look at Brett and see it's no big secret, but there's no advantage or disadvantage in (naming Myers) right now,' said manager Brad Mills. ``We're not trying to hold off for any particular reason, but there's just so much of the spring to go.'
Myers acknowledged that opening day is too distant for him to be analytical about his first spring start. He threw strikes on 20 of his 26 pitches Tuesday. The most impressive was a called third strike on Dan Uggla.
``It was a fastball, and I don't know what it did or how it did it, but it did it so it worked,' Myers said. ``I tried not to think, I just threw it.'
Tommy Hanson pitched the first two innings for the Braves, giving up a triple to Hunter Pence and picking off Brian Bogusevic after an infield single.
Jordan Schafer drove in the Braves' first run with a single in the third inning off Brandon Lyon.
Consecutive singles by Jason Heyward, Joe Mather and Freddie Freeman helped the Braves score two more runs in the seventh off Houston left-hander ptrick Urckfitz.
Jairo Asencio pitched the ninth inning for a save.
Heyward had two of the Braves' eight hits including a double off the wall against Myers.
``I would have liked to see where that one would have landed without the big wind blowing in,' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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