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Preview: Brett Myers Returns As Phillies Face Astros

Tonight, the Phillies will see two offseason pieces of business on display that haven't exactly gone as they'd expected. Brett Myers makes his return to Philadelphia to face Joe Blanton tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Myers spent eight years in Philadelphia, many of which he was considered the "ace" of the staff, before the team opted not to bring him back after last season. He ended up signing a relatively cheap, one-year, $5 million deal in Houston where he's actually pitched more like the No. 1 the Phils pretended he was for years here. Myers has a 3.11 ERA (best of his career so far) and 18 quality starts.

The Phillies did extend the contract of Joe Blanton this offseason and will pay him $24 million over the next three years. Blanton has pitched to a 5.54 ERA and thrown 46 fewer innings than Myers. Considering what the Phillies are paying Blanton and the $6.5 million they're giving to Jamie Moyer for nothing this yea r... Myers at $5 million would have been a steal.

Myers' performance this year has been one of the few bright spots for the Astros, who are 15 games below .500 and 17.5 games out in the NL Central. The Phillies have been red hot, winning six of their last eight, and will hope that this Astros series will be a good chance to make ground on the NL East leading Braves, who travel to Colorado for a series against the Rockies this week. The Phils currently sit 2.5 games back in the division.