Hunter Pence hit fifth behind Ryan Howard and Howard went 4-4 with a homer, two doubles and fell a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. There has been rampant discussion concerning the lack of proven right handed pop behind causing pitchers to throw Ryan Howard junk with zero threat of being hurt by the number five batter in the line-up. Hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come as Howard hit the shit out of some fastballs tonight.
The Phillies went on to win tonight behind Ryan Howard’s big day and Cliff Lee’s effective, if not spectacular 7 2/3 innings. The real question here centers around the Phillies inability to hit for the cycle. It seems like there are players close to completing the feat every night. Wilson Valdez will probably get a random start and do it, making everyone uncomfortable with the notion of leaving him off the postseason roster.
Pence played today, got his first hit and RBI as a Phil and was robbed of securing an infield single in his first at bat by a bad call at first. Placido Polanco came back and collected two hits. Ryan Madson struck out the side in the ninth and Roy Oswalt is reportedly set to rejoin the big league club. In other news, Joe Blanton ate an entire pan of blueberry cobbler.
Ryan Howard got his 1,000th major league hit today. It seems that only yesterday the star slugger was making an ill advised attempt to play left field. He also passed Pat Burrell on the all time RBI list. Remember Pat Burrell?
Phils go for the sweep tomorrow with Vance Worley on the mound. He will be opposed by the type of pitcher that the Phils really struggle with, a soft tossing right hander. Jeff Karstens will test how much a right handed bat can help this offense. He shut them out last time they saw him.