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.

Keep up with me on Facebook, and Twitter, and soon my App will be available in the iTunes store.

Also, check out my new T-Shirt shop.

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


Also, check out my new T-Shirt shop.  
Keep up with me on Facebook, and Twitter, and soon my App will be available in the iTunes store.

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!

Keep up with me on Facebook, and Twitter, and soon my App will be available in the iTunes store.

Also, check out my new T-Shirt shop.  

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.

Keep up with me on Facebook, and Twitter, and soon my App will be available in the iTunes store.

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)

Keep up with me on Facebook, and Twitter.

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.

Keep up with me on Facebook, and Twitter.

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.

Keep up with me on Facebook, and Twitter.

Special thanks to John Colella, a Phanatic Addict! 

A Setback For Howard?

26 Feb

Photo: Miles Kennedy

Ryan Howard has left camp for what is said to be a routine doctors visit in Baltimore. He will be visiting Mark Myerson, the surgeon that repaired his torn Achilles.  This appointment was one that was scheduled a while ago, however Howard will have a small pocket of fluid, called a seroma, examined.

So is this a setback for the slugger?  Charlie Manuel was quoted as saying that Howard had suffered “a little setback,” but Ruben Amaro Jr. said that he wouldn’t categorize it that way.

“We don’t view this as a setback. We don’t view it as an issue. Ryan is doing great. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be on the field.”

So what is a seroma? Basically it’s a foreign body under the skin that’s working it’s way out, and in Howard’s case it’s a small piece of a stitch.  Some would classify the feeling as similar to a large blister or cyst.

Howard is expected to be back in camp with the Phillies on Wednesday, so as far as weither this is a setback, I’d say that it’s not really anything to be worried about.  The appointment in Baltimore is keeping him away from camp, but if he were still in Florida, he’d be out there on the field.

Howard participated in BP on Saturday, and launched a few balls over the fence, so if that’s any indication of how he’s feeling then I’d say he’s doing OK.

Keep up with me on Facebook, and Twitter.

Manuel Wants Change

24 Feb

Photo: Miles Kennedy

Charlie Manuel wants to see a change in the Phillies approach at the plate, and he wants Jimmy Rollins to set the tone.  The two had a short meeting after Thursday’s BP, and Manuel divulged a little to the media shortly afterward.

“Jimmy can get in the count 2-1, 3-1 quite a bit, then he’ll chase a ball up out of the strike zone and hit a fly ball to center field,” Manuel said. “I talked him about that. … If he looks for a fastball and it’s not a strike, then try to lay off it. Learn and practice that way, and also in the game.”

It starts with Jimmy, but it’s something that the team needs to work on.

“I want to talk to all of our guys,” Manuel said. “I want our guys to talk about hitting. I want guys like Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins and Howard, and Victorino … I want to have more talk about hitting, talking about getting good balls to hit, not giving away at-bats, things like that.

“With our pitching and everything like that, we need to score the runs that we’re supposed to score. If we have a guy on third base with less than two outs early in the game, we need to score one run. If we have two guys on, we need to make sure we score one run, instead of a guy standing there maybe trying to bust the game open.”

Manuel also talked with Rollins about the team’s complacency, energy, and clubhouse atmosphere.  He has been vocal in the past that the energy level of the team at times isn’t where he would like, and doesn’t want the team taking their wins for granted.  He wants the team to talk more about hitting.  Manuel cited how players used to talk about their at-bats after games, and that that doesn’t really happen anymore.

Rollins IS the captain of this team, and needs to lead by example.

Someone else who can lead by example is Jim Thome.  Manuel thinks that the influence that Thome is going to have in the clubhouse is going to be huge, and I have to agree.  Thome and Ryan Howard have already had conversations about Howard’s approach.

Plenty of great stuff happening to report out of Clearwater, and there hasn’t even been a full squad workout yet…

Keep up with me on Facebook, and Twitter.

Howard: “I’m About Due”

23 Feb

You can say that again.

That was Ryan Howard‘s response when he was asked about being the last out of the season, two years in a row.

“I’m not going to lie. It sucks. And I know how it looks to everybody, like having the season come down and you’re that guy. But I try to look at it positive like, the last two seasons I got out, I figure I’m about due. I’d love to be in that situation again. There’s going to be those times when you come through and there’s going to be those times when you don’t come through.”

It seems like this offseason has been a bit of a reboot for Howard, who has been working hard recover from not just this injury, but the mental stress of being that last out, twice.

But realistically, when could he be back?

“We’ll see,” Howard said. “Ask me in May. I’m not going to put a time limit on it. I’m going to listen to my body and see where we are. … I feel good, where I am right now. I mean, I don’t know what everybody else’s expectations were for me at this point, but I feel good. Not exactly where I want to be yet, there is still a lot of strengthening that needs to take place, change of direction and working on those kinds of things, but I feel all right.”

Any time in April is probably just too generous.  With an injury of this type Ryan isn’t able to work other muscle groups in his body since he can’t apply much pressure to his legs.  As a result he’s packed on a few extra pounds, but once he’s got the go ahead to move further he’ll be able to get himself into game shape. He has been cleared to lift weights, and is taking live batting practice, and fielding a ground balls.
It’s going to be a process, so I wouldn’t get to excited thinking he can come back early.
“I’m going to listen to my body,” Ryan said.  And that’s probably the best thing that he can do.
Keep up with me on Facebook, and Twitter.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.