Saturday, September 09, 2006

9/8 - Phillies (Howard/Moyer) 3, Marlins 2

Elias Sports Bureau:

[Ryan] Howard has hit 12 home runs in 48 at-bats since Aug. 25. He has outhomered nine teams and hasn't gone more than seven at-bats without a home run during that span.

Chew on that for a minute...then check out his August numbers:

.348/.464/.750/1.214 OPS with 14 home runs and 41 RBI in 112 at bats

As for his September numbers (so far...):

.517/.622/1.310/1.932 OPS! with 7 home runs and 10 RBI in 29 at bats

Last night's 3-2 win over the Marlins:

.750/.750/2.500/3.250 OPS with 2 home runs, a double, and 3 RBI in 4 at bats

Now I realize it is kind of silly to look at any player's OPS on a given night, but...damn. Ryan Howard is good. Notes from the rest of last night's big, big, big win:
  • More Howard...his first home run of the night (2-run shot on a 2-0 count in the top of the sixth off of Marlins starter Scott Olsen) might go down as my very favorite of the 56 homers he has hit this year. It looked like he hit the ball out of the catcher's mitt...he waited and waited and waited until the ball was so far in on him right up until he unleashed an amazingly quick jolt of the wrists to put the ball way over the big teal scoreboard in left. Little League coaches everywhere stress waiting on the ball and not getting too jumpy at the plate...Howard's swing shows how this technique is supposed to work.
  • Howard's second home run was the opposite in many respects from his first...there was no waiting on this swing, he just unloaded on an Olsen fastball and pulled it to right. It was more of a traditional power hitter's swing and one that Howard has seemingly added to his arsenal shortly after the All-Star break.
  • Even in defeat Scott Olsen deserves his due. That power slider of his is a pitch that I'm already dreading seeing over the next 4/5/6 years of so. He got ahead of Chase Utley a couple of times and then threw him hard breaking slider after slider. Anibal Sanchez threw the no-hitter, Josh Johnson led the league in ERA, but Scott Olsen will have the best career of any Marlin rookie starter.
  • After Ryan Howard gave the team the lead in the top of the sixth, Jamie Moyer responded by setting the Marlins 2-3-4 (Dan Uggla, Miguel Cabrera, and Josh Willingham) down in order (strikeout, F-8, F-8). Well done, Jamie.
  • The Marlins TV guys were loving every Jamie Moyer at bat...from the way he uses two bats while on-deck to warm up to the way he eschews batting gloves altogether (instead grabbing a handful of dirt before stepping into the box). Tommy Hutton wondered if Moyer even had a bat of his own or if he was using the Jon Lieber Model...something about that phrase (Jon Lieber Model bat) made me laugh...
  • Moyer felt he was getting squeezed by the Tim Tschida all night (he was) and his reaction each time was priceless. After a bad call, he would quickly backpedal to the mound...hard to describe, but believe me it was adorable.
  • Shane Victorino's throw in the ninth that almost (and I mean almost) got Miguel Cabrera at the plate was a thing of beauty. He needs to be this team's starting centerfielder next season.
  • Why in the world is Alfredo Amezaga the Marlins centerfielder? He has never been able to hit, they have better internal options, and (very important point coming up) HE IS AN INFIELDER. He looks lost in centerfield...which is understandable because (one more time) HE IS AN INFIELDER. This would be like if the Phillies decided to carry out their spring training plan of having Matt Kata get some work in at the outfield spots. Am I missing something here?
Howard and Moyer were the stars of this game, as accurately reflected in all the mentions they got in the recap. Brett Myers vs. Brian Moehler today...Phillies can't let a pitching matchup like this go for nothing. Critical start for Myers...


Blogger GM-Carson said...

We really needed a sweep of the Marlins, because now they are in 2nd in the Wild Card race. Phils are slowly drifting away.

3:30 PM  
Blogger XXX said...

Yeah, I'm really beginning to think all hope is now lost...a sweep was there for the Phillies, but 3/4 should have absolutely happened. I still have a hard time picturing San Diego as a playoff team, but I guess I'll just have to get used to it soon enough...

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An Open Letter to the Phillies, Utley and Howard,
Its sad when it isn't you right... Well boys its not all about you two its your team. I watched your reaction and the coldness you put toward Patrick Burrell, when he hit the grand slam home run against the Astros on 9/15/06. Who was pitching well hall of famer Roger Clements. Now I know you must of been thinking "I should of hit the hall of famer's grand slam home run, cause I'm Chase Utley or Ryan Howard and I hit home runs," not Pat "strikeout" Burrell. The reaction you had along with the other teammates are proof you enjoy picking on the underdog Burrell. Yes, I know he slipped pretty badly lately, but have you ever considered something might have been wrong? When he had the chance he stepped up to the plate and did his job, probably too his relief. What was his reward, I didn't see any positive reaction. I also noticed no one else scored during the game, and Patrick's grand slam carried the team to win. Maybe you should help those on your team suffering instead of benching them and making them the laughing stock of the team. WHO'S LAUGHING NOW YOU FOOLS. One last note.. Patrick, if you read this, I want you to know this fan of the Phils is very proud of you to come out of your slump like that. Keep up the good work and remember, the day of the underdog will come soon.

2:47 AM  

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