Howard’s second consecutive multi-RBI game was part of an eleven hit night for the Phillies, and the result was a refreshingly easy 10-3 win over the Houston Astros.
On Tuesday, Howard kicked off the scoring when he homered in the second inning. On Wednesday he once again got the Phillies on the board early when his first inning double scored two runs.
The good news – except maybe for fans who really like watching long baseball games – was that unlike on Tuesday, after Howard’s hit, the Phillies didn’t stop scoring. They added three more runs in the second, and didn’t stop scoring until a wild pitch plated Ben Revere with their tenth run in the eighth.
The run support was more than enough for starting pitcher David Buchanan who was making his first post-All-Star break start in place of the injured Cliff Lee. After surrendering a first inning run, it appeared as if it might not be a good night for “Bucky.” But to his credit, he settled down after the first and ended up lasting into the seventh.
The Astros looked like they might fight their way back into the game in the seventh when they had runners on second and third with nobody out. But after a run scored on a ground out, Jake Diekman entered and retired the next two batters to end the threat.
The Phillies will go for the series sweep on Thursday night behind Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez is coming off his best start of the season, so the Phillies hope he can replicate that performance.
As for Howard, it would be a huge boost for the team if he could also replicate his recent performances. If he can continue to hit this well, it’s unlikely that any of us will forget what he can do.