Saturday, December 27, 2014

Phillies need a more consistent Howard

Once again it was demonstrated how dangerous the Phillies can be if Ryan Howard is on his game.

Phillies need a more consistent Howard

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and right fielder Marlon Byrd. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and right fielder Marlon Byrd. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Once again it was demonstrated how dangerous the Phillies can be if Ryan Howard is on his game.

Howard had a home run and five RBIs in Monday’s 9-0 win over the Colorado Rockies.

The problem this year (along with he previous two injury-plagued seasons) is that these spurts have come infrequently for Howard.

It was his first home run since May 8.

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He has 30 RBIs, which is 12th in the National League, but a more telling stat is his OPS of .735, which places him 47th.

Howard is fourth in the N.L. in strikeouts with 58, just two shy of the co-leaders, BJ and Justin Upton.

He didn’t not strike out against the Rockies, only the fifth time this month that has happened.

The Phillies did show an ability to bounce back after being no-hit on Sunday by Los Angeles Dodgers righthander Josh Beckett.

Now Howard is hoping to build off the win.

“We have to try to take that (Monday’s result) into the next day and the next day after that,” Howard said.

And the Phillies need that especially from Howard. He went 3 for 4 against Colorado and it was only his second multi-hit game of the month.

When he drove in the Phillies first run with an RBI single in the fourth, it snapped an 0-for-17 streak.

He has eight home runs this season and the Phillies are 5-3 in those games. The Phillies are 196-93 in his career when he has homered.

Howard can impact a game in such a dramatic way.

Whether that is possible on even a semi-consistent basis, remain to be seen.

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The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

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