Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Ryan Howard Left Out

Ryan Howard's strikeout percentages year by year.

Ryan Howard Left Out

( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer )
( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer ) Daily News/Inquirer

If it felt like the wind picked up at Citizens Bank Park in the latter half of the summer, it just might have been an opposing lefthander on the mound facing Ryan Howard.

We understand that strikeouts will always be a part of the Big Lefty Piece’s resume, especially when he faces a southpaw. And we’re more than happy to put up with them if he keeps up the RBI pace (31 in his last 29 games) that he had down the stretch this season before breaking his toe.

But he simply cannot whiff in nearly 50 percent of his ABs against lefthanded pitchers — a mark he flirted with in September and had never approached in any of his full big-league seasons.

Here are Howard’s year-by-year strikeout numbers vs. left- and righthanded pitchers:

  vs. LHP vs. RHP
 Year        AB    SO   Pct.    AB    SO   Pct.
 2004      9        5    .556      30        8    .267  
 2005    61    26  .426  251    74  .295
 2006  197    76  .386  384  105  .273
 2007  209    85  .407  320  114  .356
 2008  237    96  .405  373  103  .276
 2009  222    83  .374  394  103  .261
 2010  193    61  .316  357    96  .269
 2011  170    55  .324  387  117  .302
 2012    98    45  .459  162    54  .333
Bob Vetrone Jr.
About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

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Reach Bob at vetronb@phillynews.com.

Bob Vetrone Jr.
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