Happ-Y Howard Hits Hard

…Now say that five times fast ;O)  JA Happ and Ryan Howard combined for a 1-2 punch last night that sent the Braves away with a 6-game deficit in the NL East as the Phillies took home the 4-1 win.  Early on, it looked like rain might put a damper on the evening, but after a 1 hour and 37 minute delay, the game finally got underway.

Happ collected his 9th win of the season as he pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed just 3 hits and 1 solo home run.  His command was off and on all game and he did wind up walking 6 batters, but got outs when he needed to.  Never rattled by tight situations, Happ continues to be a consistent starter that the Phillies can count on.

Add to that consistency a little Howard power and the result is a win.  Howard has struggled in the second half, but these last few days, he looks like he is hitting balls into another solar system.  Howard hitting.jpgHoward has 4 home runs in his last 4 games, with 2 of them rocketing out of the park last night for the 20th multi-home run game of his career.  In fact, Howard did everything last night to win the game, except steal a base.  His defense was stellar and he turned two very impressive double plays; at the plate, he notched the two home runs plus a single and a walk.  All four Phillies runs in the game were credited to Howard.

In relief, Ryan Madson and Scott Eyre combined to record 3 of the last four outs in the game.  Eyre almost had his first save since 2005, but after he walked a batter, Charlie Manuel decided to go to Brad Lidge, perhaps thinking that a one out save might boost his confidence.  Lidge did record the save on three pitches, but after a horrible season so far, most still have their doubts about Lidge.  It would seem to be time for the Phillies to find a back-up plan, but Manuel still insists Brad is his man.  However, the Phillies cannot expect to thrive in the post-season while carrying the worst closer in all of major league baseball; his 8 blown saves and 7.21 ERA are officially the bottom of the barrel for all closers.

Today the Phillies will have a much needed day of rest and I will need to find something else besides baseball to occupy my evening.  Suggestions are welcome :O)

And then Tuesday night, Philadelphia will get their first look up close and in person with Pedro Martinez.  After a road win against the Cubs last week, the home crowd is anxious to see his progress.  Game time is 7:05pm against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Go Phillies!

Howard photo by Jenn


*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*



I’d be worried if I were you. Pedro in the bandbox? When he gets hit, he gets hit HARD. Best wishes to y’all!

It’ll be interesting to see how Pedro does at home, Jenn. Maybe he’ll bring that old magic. I hope so for your sake!


I was hoping Ryan was going to hit 3 bombs last night… never mind we’ll take 2 any night….
Outside the Phillies Looking In

Pedro didn’t look horrible tonight. The rain delay kind of ruined his night, but 1 run in 3 innings isn’t so bad. If he keeps this up there will be lots of teams feeling stupid about not signing him sooner!

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