Ryan on Fire

July 25, 2007

A road trip that started out ugly ended pretty.  Now, it is back home for six games against two teams with losing records, the Nationals and Pirates.

The Nationals just completed a 5-2 homestand.  They had back-to-back shutout wins over the Rockies.  Their pitchers haven’t allowed a run in 20 innings.

The Pirates are 1-8 since the second half started after a 9-4 mark just before the All-Star Game.

Still, there are no easy games in this game.  Odds yesterday weren’t in the Phillies favor with Jake Peavy on the mound for the Padres.  The result ended in the Phillies favor.  That’s baseball and that’s why you play the games.

Ryan Howard’s bat has been on fire.  “I’m starting to feel a little better at the plate,” he said on this road trip.  That’s good news for Phillies fans and not so good news for enemy pitchers.

On the one-week trip, Howard was 11-for-22 with five homers, 13 RBI and 10 walks.  For the second time in his career, he has been selected as the National League Player of the Week.

He’s been driving the ball up the middle and to left field which are really good signs.  Against lefties, his 11 homers are the most in the majors.  Last year, he was No. 1 in the same category with 16 homers.

While the Phillies were on the west coast, Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro were checking out the Phillies minor league teams.  Gillick has been in Clearwater since Saturday and he’ll see Brett Myers pitch tonight.  Amaro was in Ottawa for the weekend.

Plenty of seats are available for tomorrow night and Friday night.  Wednesday night (Cole Hamels bobble head) and Saturday night (Howard t-shirt) are both sold out.


The next two series are HUGE. With the Braves on a West Coast road trip, and the Mets playing the Pirates and Nats as well, the Phils need to keep the hot playing, and start making up some ground in the division.

It’s going to be an exciting month of August. I like the Phillies chances!


The big guy is on a tear and should add N.L. player of the month honors as well. Although he’s being pitched around again his patience along w/ Rowand and a resurgent Pat Burrell will allow him to get his numbers.

Is another MVP attainable? Early leaders Fielder and Reyes have cooled off. Chase has to be considered right there with him. Any other early contenders?

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