Ryan Howard loves playing in his hometown of St Louis! And it was never more evident than last night as he went 3 for 5 with 5 RBI, 4 runs scored and 2 home runs in the Phillies massive 20-2 win over the Cards. After the game, Howard said, “Playing before family and friends is relaxing to me.” Well, if that is the case, then perhaps the Phillies staff ought to look into flying his family and friends out to Philadelphia to attend more games?? I mean, whatever works for this guy, let’s get it done! In one game, he raised his batting average from .204 to .212 and added 2 homers….now there’s a reason to smile!
The run barrage started right from the first inning with Utley, Howard and Burrell going back to back to back with homers. This feat has only been accomplished 7 times in Phillies history (including this one) and this is the third time Pat Burrell has been in the mix. It was all downhill from there for the Cardinals as the Phillies kept pilling it on, especially in the 4th inning, where even the pitcher, Kyle Kendrick had 2 hits in the inning, one of which was a double. They batted around plus 6 in that inning and scored 9 runs. The only regular player left without a hit for the night was Jimmy Rollins, although he did get walked 3 times.
Aside from all the run scoring excitement, the only other real drama was when Cards pitcher Russ Springer hit Howard with a pitch in the 8th inning and was ejected from the game for throwing at him intentionally. Manager Tony LaRussa was ejected next for arguing, but it sure looked intentional. Ryan stands so far off the plate, it is pretty hard to hit him. Not to mention, everyone knows you pitch him low and outside if you want to strike him out. After that, the Cards had run through so many pitchers, in an act of total desperation, they threw their second baseman on the mound in the 9th inning! Aaron Miles pitched a one, two, three shut-out inning to close out the top of the inning. It wasn’t pretty, but he mopped up well.
Well, 2 more games in St. Louis. Let’s hope Howard’s mommy made him the same waffles for breakfast and injected them with whatever that home run power juice was again. Go Phillies!