The Greatest Pitching Staff Ever Isn’t At Fault, The Problem Is Ryan HowardBREAKING NEWS, General News, News, Phillies Friday, October 7th, 2011
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is the reason that the best pitcher in baseball, Roy Halladay gave up that three-run home run to Lance Berkman in the first inning of game one of the NLDS at Citizen’s Bank Park, before we could even get settled in our seats. I think it was Howard, who signaled Berkman that Halladay was going to throw a fastball right down the middle.
I blame that home run solely on Howard because there’s no way the best pitcher in baseball would groove a fast ball right down the middle and put the team in a 3-0 hole. According to many, Halladay’s performance was just as good of a big game performance as all-time greats like Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Kurt Schilling and Randy Johnson, if you ignore the three-run home run.
Can you ignore a three-run home run? I guess we can if we want to. Who cares that he gave up that three-run home run in his biggest start of the year to this point?
I know Howard hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth of that game but that wasn’t a big deal. I know it seemed like it turned that game around, but he doesn’t deserve credit for that. We don’t need to make a big deal about that.
I know Howard singled home two runs in the first inning of the second game. I know all the inept Phillies hitters gave Lee a 4-0 lead. But that’s not a big deal, because It was Howard who was signaling the Cardinals hitters on what pitches the great Cliff Lee was throwing.
That’s the only way they could bang out 12 hits on the Great Lee. I have heard that umpire alibi for Lee and it sounds legitimate because that’s the only way he give up all those runs in such a big game. The guy was squeezing the strike zone on him, but not the Cardinals pitchers.
Yes, it is true that the series would be over if Lee had pitched a decent game in his biggest start of the season, but let’s blame everything on Howard. We can’t blame it on the greatest pitching rotation in the history of Major League Baseball.
Seriously, the one Phillies starter, who went out and got the job done from the start was Cole Hamels, who pitched six shutout innings for the Phillies in game three. He didn’t have his best stuff, but he battled the Cardinals. It’s ironic that his heart is the first one questioned by the fans, yet he showed tremendous heart in the performance.
The number four starter for the greatest starting staff in MLB history, Roy Oswalt gave up five runs in five innings, but he shouldn’t face any criticism because we should blame everything on Ryan Howard. Is giving up five runs in five innings a good pitching performance?
Seriously, I know Howard has done a poor job in the last couple of games of hitting and he needs to start competing much better at the plate. He’s got to hang in there on those curveballs and be ready to drive those outside pitches to leftfield.
Some of his at-bats have been pathetic, but that doesn’t mean he should be blamed for everything. I’m just amazed at how he could be singled out as being the sole reason that the Phillies haven’t won this series, despite this starting pitching staff coming up so small.
He put them in position to win games one and two, if the Greatest Starting Pitching Staff in MLB history had showed up. Still he need to show up for the remainder of the playoffs.
Let’s be honest, there’s a list of people who haven’t performed up to the level which they should have and that list should start with the Greatest Starting Pitching rotation in MLB history. Howard should be on the list as well and he should step up his game, but the fact that this pitching staff which is supposed to be one of the greatest of all-time wouldn’t be called out first, says something.
Short URL: http://gcobb.com/?p=24687