You can't contain him, you can only hope to not piss him off enough to the point where he pops you...Ryan Howard is officially on that 2nd half tear we were all hoping and praying for. Since the All-Star break the mammoth slugger has hit .412, with 6 bombs, 12 rbi, 13 runs, and a robust 1.545 OPS. During this season I've dogged him for a low batting average, poor defense, and enough swings and misses to put Holland's windmills out of business, but the truth is the MVP Ryan Howard is back, and back with vengeance. His season's line is starting to look eerily similar to '06- .274, 27 hr, 79 rbi, and a 1.006 OPS. Despite a horrid start and a 15 day stint on the DL he's ranked near the top of the NL in homeruns, rbi, and slugging. With Rollins, Victorino, Utley, and Howard this offense will always be terrifying to opposing pitchers.
Two Turntables and a Microphone:
*Grand Pappy Moyer didn't pitch brilliantly, but he pitched well enough. He and the Phils offense helped push the season's record to a game over .500 yet again (49-48). Moyer went 6 2/3 innings while surrendering 4 runs, which is never bad for a 44 year old. What concerns me is that Charlie left him in for 122 pitches just after earlier in the week talking about how Jamie has been logging too many pitches on his ancient arm. It was 7-2 Phils after 6 innings, to help preserve some "bullets" in this veterans arm I think he should have been yanked then.
*Although the 2 innings pitched by Tom Gordon since his return from the DL haven't been in pressure situations, it's still encouraging and nice to have him back.
*Keeping pace with Chase Utley- the man is on a pace to rack up 220 hits and 69 doubles. 69 is an awesome number, but when put into the context of doubles...that's a whole lotta extra pleasure.
*Pittsburgh pulled out a win yesterday pulling themselves out of the NL Central cellar. The Pirates spanked the Ass-tros 7-3. The offense was sparked by new member of the Phucco family Matt Kata.