Over the past 4 playoff series (2009 WS, 2010 NLDS, 2010 NLCS, and 2011 NLDS), Ryan Howard has struck out in 36 of his 75 at bats. That's nearly half of the time- 48% to be exact. To be fair, he did knock in 9 runs in those 20 games, but that's a piddling total for a cleanup hitter being paid to do just that. Batting average- .213, OPS- .662, and R- 5. Things weren't always this way. He used to be a good in the postseason, but his October struggles are a direct correlation of his regular season decline over that time frame.
To all the Howard apologists...ease down, I know your dander is up. He's not the only one at fault, or is he?
Other Phillies Over Same Span:
Chase Utley - .286/1.012, 20 R, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 5 SB, and 12 K.
Jimmy Rollins - .273/.694, 10 R, 6 RBI, 7 SB, and 10 K.
Shane Victorino - .231/.571, 10 R, 9 RBI, and 7 K.
Raul Ibanez - .246/.698, 4 R, 8 RBI, and 22 K.
Carlos Ruiz - .197/.687, 8 R, 4 RBI, and 12 K.
Okay, so clearly nobody aside from Utley has been stellar. However, remember Chooch is the 8 hole hitter and steady production isn't really expected of that spot in the lineup. Victorino's OPS is low, but he still produced more total runs. Howard has failed in the last 4 postseason series, plain and simple. And that makes for a sickening Staturday.