The crowd was cheering and it took a long time for them to stop. Wil Myers had done something so spectacular in their eyes that they could not be quiet–he had turned a surefire second out into a ground-rule double. But while that was the pinnacle of Myers’ frustration, it was far from the only component. Myers went 0 for 9 during the two games at Fenway, going from a poor rookie who made a mistake to the goat of the series. Where does Myers go from here?
Love the Trop or despise it, the Rays are extremely glad to be heading home. That is especially the case for Wil Myers. The sarcastic MYYYYERS chants from the Red Sox crowd will disappear, replaced by cheers of support. It is a chance for a fresh start, an opportunity to finally move on. Not everyone can be Evan Longoria in their first playoff game, slamming a pair of home runs. Everyone from rookies to veterans have their peaks and valleys, and the pressure of the postseason only complicates matters more. At this piont, the only place for Myers to go is up. This is an extremely talented player. Give him a mulligan and he will be just fine.
Wil Myers is not getting overpowered. He struck out twice in his nine at-bats, nothing crazy, and he is just barely missing. He has hit several flyballs deep into the outfield including a couple hard-hit balls, but he just could not catch a break. Bad luck had as much to do with Myers’ tough time at the plate as the psychological anguish from the missed play in right field. Today, though, Myers gets a day to relax, to move past what happened at Fenway. Tomorrow he gets his home crowd behind him, cheering him on even louder than they have all season, pushing his struggles to the side and thinking only about his ability to lead the Rays to victory. The Rays need Wil Myers now more than ever. These first two games have been a disaster, and Myers’ miscue may have been the catalyst of it all. But however big a part Myers played in the problem, he has the ability to play an even bigger part in the solution. The story of this series is not done yet. Three strong games and we could be viewing Wil Myers entirely differently than we do right now.
In Myers’ first major league game on June 18th at Fenway Park, he went 0 for 5 as the Rays lost 5-1. In his second game, he went 1 for 3 and the Rays lost 3-1. But finally in his third game, he finally made something happen, drilling a two-run double in the Rays’ 6-2 lead, and that is where it all started. Myers had a horrific Friday, and Saturday was better only because it could not have been any worse. But once again, the third time might be the charm and everything could click after that.