Myers shoulders blame for road struggles

Padres slugger's average at Petco Park is .140 higher than away mark

August 17th, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG -- Petco Park may be home sweet home for Padres slugger , but being on the road has been very sour for the 25-year-old this season.

Myers is crushing the ball in San Diego to the tune of a .344 batting average, with 15 homers and a 1.052 OPS. In away games, however, Myers is batting just .204 with eight home runs and a .631 OPS.

The stark contrast was hard for Myers to ignore as he tried to figure out a reason for it, especially following a 2-0 loss in Tampa Bay on Wednesday that wrapped up a series sweep.

"It's been pretty terrible," Myers said. "This is really my first year playing on the west coast, and the road trips were really just to [Los Angeles] and Arizona. Really, the time difference being on the east coast with the humidity -- those are things I'm going to learn from."

The struggles were prevalent in the last two games of the Padres' series against the Rays. Myers went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on Wednesday, a day after going 0-for-4 with three punchouts.

Myers took responsibility not only for his own play, but for an offense that scored just six runs in its past five games.

"It has not been very good. I've been absolutely awful," Myers said. "It kind of comes down to me. I haven't done anything to get the offense going. ... I think if I can get some stuff going, then the team will kind of follow."

Going against former teammate and Rays ace compounded the frustrations.

"I tell you what, I didn't want to strike out three times against him," Myers said. "... He expanded the zone on me, and because he had such a good slider, I chased those pitches, but he looked really dominant. One of the best starts I've seen him have, and unfortunately I was on the other end of it."

Unfortunately for both the club and the first baseman/right fielder, playing better on the road is not as simple as turning on a switch.

San Diego manager Andy Green said Myers is trying to make things right and getting a better lay of the land by putting in extra work at the beginning of each road series.

"He talked about getting work in on the fields before he played on them and came out early [each] series to be comfortable in the setting," Green said. "I think sometimes those things, you start thinking about them and they start snowballing. ... When he's on the road, he's not swinging at his pitch, [he's] taking it and then swinging at the pitcher's pitch. It's a matter of pitch selection above anything else."