Tag Archives: Ryan Howard

Another Walk Off!

24 Jul

A little bit of timely hitting can go a long way.  Just ask a team like the Phillies, that hadn’t had 9th inning comeback all year.

That is, until last night when they tagged Francisco Rodriguez for four runs in the bottom of the 9th.  K-Rod had no control, and the Phillies took advantage.

They had previously been 0-42 in those situations.

Ryan Howard had a big night at the plate, going with a homer, double, and a 2-run single. Chase Utley reached base four times and scored two runs. He and Howard had back-to-back homers in the first inning.

Roy Halladay wasn’t exactly the Halladay that we’ve grown accustomed to over the last few seasons, but he thinks he’s on the right track, and insists that he feels healthy.

“I understand I haven’t had a lot of time back on the mound,” Halladay said. “But I expect more. I feel like I should be getting better results. I expect to be better than that.  As good as I feel, I believe I can compete,” he said. “Sure, there’s some rust. But ultimately, I feel I can compete.”
What does it all mean?
I’m not really sure.  Probably nothing, but if anything is going to change the Phillies fortunes, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay need to get hot.  Scorching hot  But until this team is mathematically eliminated, expect them to keep trying.
Cliff Lee takes to the mound Tuesday night as the Phillies try for a third straight win. He faces another former American League Cy Young winner in Zack Greinke.

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O you Bastard

7 Jul

Antonio Bastardo did a pretty nice job blowing up Kyle Kendrick’s great pitching performance, and the return of Ryan Howard.

However, you have to question why he was even out there.

Charlie Manual must have gotten some false sense of security from Bastardo’s performance the night before in New York.  I get the lefty vs. lefty thing, but in this case Charlie just out-managed himself.  With a bullpen as bad as the one that we have, sometimes you have to ride a hot hand, and when your pitcher is at 89 pitches, and he’s pitching a shutout… You let him go.

Kyle Kendrick had thrown 7 great innings, possibly the best 7 innings of his career. He threw seven shutout innings, allowed four hits, one walk and struck out five. Kendrick was yanked for Bastardo after 89 pitches with the game knotted at nil.

“My fastball is my best weapon,” Bastardo said, post-game. “I’m not commanding it.”

One would have seen that if he had been watching Bastardo’s warm-up.  He was all over the place.

Bastardo faced seven batters and gave up five singles, three walks and a big homer.  This just one night after Jonathan Papelbon was rocked by the Mets.

Though the offense never scored, this game was lost by Charlie Manual and the bullpen.

Welcome back Ryan Howard, in case you missed it, we stink.  The Phillies are 1-8 since Chase Utley’s return. They’re 0-1 with Ryan Howard

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Howard Takes Another Big Step Tonight

29 Jun

After going 2-4 with a SAC fly and 3 RBIs in a 7-6 win on Thursday night, Ryan Howard will continue his rehab assignment with the BlueClaws on Friday night at FirstEnergy Park.

The hits are nice, but the best sign from Howard was when he beat out the throw on an infield single he hit.  The big man was running hard!

The power will come back to Howard with time.  He’s got tremendous upper body strength, so he’ll be able to muscle the ball for this season, and next season his legs will extend that power.  What you want to look for his his stability.  He’s not going to be able to be as explosive out of the box, and running the bases.   That’s going to take time, and hopefully he can get back to where he was.

It will be exciting to see how long he plays in the field tonight.

— Side Notes

  • Ryan Howard’s game-worn Phillies baby-blue jersey (pictured above) from last night’s game was actioned off  for $4,900 for BlueClaws Charites.  Pretty cool!

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Until They Get Back…

2 Jun

You’ve probably heard this phrase close to a million times this Spring.

“If we can just stay afloat until Howard and Utley come back…”

Gosh, I think I’ve even said it a few times myself.  Unfortunatly we had to add another big name to that list.

Roy Halladay. 

To say that Roy Halladay is important to this team is really understating it.  In his first two years in Philadelphia Halladay has won 40 games, and pitched more then 200 innings each time.  However, Halladay and the Phillies have been bounced from the playoffs each season before reaching the ultimate goal.

Why do I mention that last part? …  Because it could be worse.

Don’t get me wrong here.  Losing Halladay is really going to be tough for the Phillies, but at the same time his injury could have been far worse then it was.  He doesnt need surgury.  He didn’t tear his labrum, he didn’t tear his rotator cuff.  He’ll be stronger at the end of the season, and won’t have that wear and tear of a 200 inning pitchers come august and September.  I’d love to have Roy out there today, but a healthy Roy is going to be huge in the stretch run.

They need to win as many division games as possible, as all the teams in the NL East are above .500.

The Phillies have been a second half team these last few years.  Let’s hope that trend continues, because if the Phillies want to have any chance of making it to the Postseason, it’s really gonna have to.

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Oh Great, Now What?

21 Mar

David M Warren/Staff Photographer Philly.com

So now that Michael Martinez will be starting the season on the Disabled List, where do the Phillies turn?  Martinez was figuring to get plenty of playing time filling in for Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley, but when Utley left camp on Monday because of the continual problems with his knees, Martinez became much more valuable to the Phils.

The Phillies healthy infielders are Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Freddy Galvis, Ty Wigginton, Jim Thome, Pete Orr and Hector Luna.  Orr and Luna are not locks to make the team out of camp unless the Phillies don’t find another infielder outside of camp.  Orr has had time with the Phillies in the past, and Luna has had a productive Spring with the Phillies in belting two homers, and is among the team leaders with 8 RBI.

Outside the organization the Phillies have been linked to Mike Aviles of the Red Sox, Maicer Izturis from the Los Angeles Angels, but both would need to be acquired via a trade as the Phillies have very little money to work with at this point. The team says that they feel comfortable with their internal options, but we’ve heard that before.  I just wouldn’t expect them to jump the gun.  They have some time, and have some time before they need to make a move.  I would not be surprised if they start the season with what they have, and see how Galvis performs before the decide weither to add another utility player.

Martinez isn’t exactly irraplaceable, but with the current woes in the infield, it’s just one more thing to have to deal with.

(Makes you wonder why the Phillies traded Wilson Valdez)

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Mike Schmidt Takes on New Role in Phillies Camp

27 Feb

Photo: Miles Kennedy/Phillies

Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt is a regular every season at the Phillies Spring Training camp in Clearwater Florida, but usually spends just a week or two with the club.  This season Schmidt has agreed to stay and spend more time with the club at the request of Charlie Manuel and the Phillies, saying that he may hang around until about the middle of March.  I can’t think of anyone better then the best position player ever to come out of the Phillies organization.

In the past Schmidt has spent his time floating around and working with hitters in a minimal role, but this season plans to get involved in a more one-on-one basis with the players, and talk more about hitting, and what goes along with that.

“There will be times when I chat with guys about mechanics, but for the most part, the additions I’m going to offer this year are in-game strategies like, ‘Let’s be more aggressive in fastball counts, let’s be tougher to strike out, let’s figure out a way to give up fewer at-bats,'” Schmidt said. “A guy like me is only good if there are ears that want to listen. I never said I’m the end-all when it comes to that, but I’m a sounding board for guys, and I enjoy it.”

There were plenty of outcries this offseason for the Phillies to add to their offense, and they did that in a way.  They added some better bats to their bench in Jim Thome, Laynce Nix, and Ty Wigginton, but other then that the names are pretty familiar.  What Schmidt wants to do, with reinforcment from Thome, is get the hitters to reconsider their approach to everything.

“Can you change a guy’s approach? Yeah, you can get a guy to think about his role and profession. You can get him to think about being great at it and get him to understand it takes applying your mind more to your craft. You can get a guy to change the way he goes about his pre-game work.”

“You can get a guy to think more about his craft,” Schmidt said. “You need to come to the park and be darn sure you know who’s pitching tonight for starters, and I’ve heard stories that there have been occasions where guys might come and ask the hitting coach who’s pitching tonight.  I can’t even fathom that… It takes applying your mind more to your craft.”

Schmidt also said that he thinks he knows how Ryan Howard feels about being “That guy.”

“I’ve been in his shoes,” Schmidt said.  “He and I were the clean-up hitters, and the guy expected to come through, and the guy making the most money.  We probably get the most opportunities to make things happen, so we probably fail more then anybody, so the focus is probably on us.”

Schmidt isn’t trying to call anyone out, but he feels that this collection of guys has more then enough pop to get into the Postseason, and go all the way.  It’s just a matter of having the right mental approach, physical ability, and a little bit of luck.

It’ll be nice having two Hall of Famers in Schmidt, and Ryne Sandberg in camp for an extended period of time.

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Meet Charlie Manuel and Support Special Olympics

27 Feb

You could win this signed ball!!!

This is for any fans that are currently down in Florida for Spring Training.  Come down and meet Charlie Manuel at this great event that’s being held on Thursday March 1st from 3-6 P.M. in Sarasota, Florida at Forum Salon. 100% of proceeds will go to Special Olympics of Sarasota County. Charlie will be signing autographs for a 5$ donation and has also donated some great Phillies memorabilia including…

• A 2008 and 2009 team signed World Series Balls

• A 2009 All Star ball

• A Chase Utley autographed bat

• Balls signed by Hunter Pence, and Shane Victorino

• 3 hats signed by Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Ryan Howard.

The 2008 ball is being raffled off for $10 tickets and the rest of the items will be silent auction. There will also be many local businesses with items for auction including a foursome of golf, to scuba lessons, and even a private plane ride! In addition to the auction there will be a free food including an oyster roast by Half Shell Oyster House and hotdogs as well.

Thank you, and pass this along to any fans you know that are in the area.

If you’re not in the area please consider calling 941.365.8165 and finding out how you can make a donation.

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Special thanks to John Colella, a Phanatic Addict!