Caveman Approach Diminishing With An Offensive Explosion

Sure they still hit 4 home runs last night for 5 RBI’s, but out of 12 total runs, that means 7 of them were earned the hard way, proving that when they put their brains to work, the Phillies actually CAN play ball the right way.  One at bat at a time, one runner at a time, move the guy over into scoring position, use the sacrifice when you need to and score the run.  This is what the team has been lacking and now that they see it actually works, maybe we’ll see more of it.  No more of this caveman-style, kill-the-ball, swing at anything, approach at the plate.  The Phillies especially need to work on this when facing pitchers they have trouble with, as this is a great way to rattle a guy.  Get someone into scoring position and you put pressure on the pitcher.  He is more likely to make a mistake and your odds of getting a hit go up.  Tonight they face Roy Oswalt who, back on 4/16, totally shut them down and allowed only one run in 7 innings.  But Oswalt is now 4 for 4 on the season with a 5.43 ERA…he CAN be hit and the Phillies should be able to take advantage of him.  Let’s see how it goes…

So, what do we all think about Ryan Howard?  Is the slump over?  The good news is, he had a killer game last night and hit 2 massive homers!  And, one of them was on a pitch that was low and away, which is the pitch he usually strikes out on.  So, that alone was especially nice to see.  Overall, he looked very comfortable and really locked in.  My only concern still is how he will perform in a high pressure situation.  Last night was pretty easy going for him, with the team having a huge lead.  Now, they did not have a huge lead at the beginning, so that is promising.  But, because it does seem like the pressures of this new salary and the expectations that have come along with it have affected his performance, both offensively and defensively, you have to continue to wonder if he will crack when the load becomes heavy.  I really hope not…I do miss the happy-go-lucky Ryan the Rhino :o)  Here he is playing with his peeps in Clearwater, wearing an appropriate “rhino” tee:

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And we should give thanks to Clay Condrey for eating up innings last night so the rest of our bullpen could get a rest.  He has not had the best track record of late, but he does certainly come in handy when we need to just waste some innings!  He’s like the trash man…it’s a stinky job that no one really wants, but someone has to do it.  Now the rest of the pitching staff can go into Houston refreshed and smelling like roses :o)

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