Ryan Howard Should Add Hunter Pence to His Christmas Card List

Posted: August 4, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Does Ryan Howard frustrate you sometimes? I unfortunately have to answer yes to that question. His inability to play a full season at full steam has given many people headaches. I’m talking about Ryan Howard inability to get off to fast starts, then turning it on after the all-star break and putting the team on his big ol’ shoulders and carrying them all the way into the postseason. This year has been no exception. Ryan had been coasting, and in my opinion underperforming for most of the year.

July 30th….in comes Hunter Pence. The highly regarded and sought after player formerly of the Houston Astros. Hunter is known to hit for average, he sees the ball well at the plate. Charlie Manuel made the decision to insert Pence into the 5th spot in the lineup, right behind Ryan Howard. So, how did Ryan Howard perform in Hunter Pence’s debut as a Phillie? Oh, just 4 for 4 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 RBI, heck of a line! In the five games since  Hunter Pence arrived in Philadelphia Ryan has nine hits, nine RBI and 4 home runs. For me, it’s no coincidence. Ryan is seeing better pitches, mainly more fastballs. Will it carry on? Maybe. Like I said before, Ryan tends to heat up around this time of the year anyway.

There is a big, let me say that again, BIG series against the San Francisco Giants coming up. The Giants pitching staff is notorious for giving the Phillies lineup fits. Not to mention the series is in San Fran, which is the only west coast town where fans seem to care as much about baseball as we do here in Philly. Rightfully so, they are the defending champions. This series will be big for the team’s psyche. They need to perform well in this series, because more likely than not, they’ll meet again in October. We’ll find out if the Pence experiment is indeed a successful one. It will be tested by the likes of Cain, Bumgarner, Lincecum and Wilson. If Ryan’s tear continues after this, a Christmas card might not do the trick.

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