Posted tagged ‘Ryan Howard’

The PhilaTude Favorites

August 6, 2009
PhilaTude

PhilaTude

Mentioned over many of my blog post are Philadelphia athletes that are our favorites.  How does one become a PhilaTude favorite?

Here are the criteria: 

1)       Be a current member of a Philadelphia sports team (under contract, disabled list is acceptable)
2)       Always put the team first over personal goals (as judged by me)
3)       Always compete at 100% or better (as judged by me)
4)       Never get into any trouble off of the field or embarrass themselves or team in public (Chase Utley broke this rule, otherwise he would be a perennial PhilaTude favorite)
5)       Exhibit PhilaTude – they must love their Philadelphia team and be proud of Philadelphia

The current roster of PhilaTude favorites are: 

1)       Mike Richards of the Flyers
2)       Stewart Bradley of the Eagles
3)       Dan Klecko of the Eagles
4)       Shane Victorino of the Phillies
5)       Ryan Howard of the Phillies
6)       Nick Cole of the Eagles 

Potential PhilaTude Favorites:

1)       Ryan Parent
2)       Chris Pronger
3)       JA Happ
4)       Andre Iguodala

Previous PhilaTude favorites were: 

1)       Brian Dawkins
2)       Sheldon Brown until he went crazy about his contract
3)       Derian Hatcher
4)       Hugh Douglas
5)       Troy Vincent

Thoughts on the criteria?  Thoughts on the current roster of PhilaTude favorites?

Leave a comment or send us an e-mail philatudeblog @ gmail.com

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Weekend Home Runs

July 27, 2009
Chase Utley Goes Yard

Chase Utley Goes Yard

After a disappointing start to the Phillies’ series with the St. Louis Cardinals, the “Fightins” came back with two powerful wins, including a 4 homerun outburst in yesterday’s game.  In fact, Jimmy Rollins, void of anything resembling his former self of the last three seasons, went yard in back to back games, with a grand slam just to prove he still has it.  Of course, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez got their turns to hit the long ball. 

Regardless of all the homeruns and power hitting, it is quite satisfying to know that the Phillies can bounce back from a tough loss.  Equally comforting is that the bottom of the pitching rotation got the job done over the last two games.  Even the bullpen has slightly steadied – of course with big leads, it really doesn’t matter. 

The Phillies are still in negotiation with the Blue Jays for the Roy Halladay services.  It appears the Blue Jays are asking for the farm, when the Phillies want to only give up the barn.  Our take here at Philatude is – you have to do whatever it takes to win another World Series.  I’d be satisfied giving up prospects now to win another championship.  If it means overpaying with prospects to get a pure number 1 pitcher, I would do it.  Imagine a rotation of Hamels, Halladay, Moyer, Blanton and a shadow of his former self, Pedro Martinez heading down the stretch of the season and into the playoffs.  I am assuming that JA Happ has to go to the Blue Jays for Halladay.  It would be a tough rotation to get any traction on and put together decent consecutive games.  Simply put – the Phillies should get Halladay to give them the best shot at winning the Series.

Unless a monumental collapse occurs, the Phillies should be in control of their destiny.

Phillies Winners of 15 of the their last 17

July 24, 2009

The Phillies are in the middle of an amazing string of games.  They are consistently doing the little things to win games, bounce back from loses and not self destruct.  All of these things mentioned were the issues they were having during their losing streak and inconsistent play.

What happened?  How did they turn it around?

I have a few theories: 

1)       The current players picked up their individual games because of all the attention the Phillies’ prospects have received.  You can’t read the Inquirer without someone mentioning Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, Lou Marson or Jason Donald.  Maybe some of the guys thought they could be replaced and starting playing like they can.  I don’t give this theory too much weight because these prospects aren’t ready and the Phillies are in a strong position for the pennant regardless of a few losses.  

2)       The current roster of players was just complacent.  This is the most logical theory.  As discussed numerous times, the players were just going through the motions.  Finally, they woke up and realized that they needed to play hard and play like they did last year to make a serious effort of a repeat.  

3)       The players were tired, injured and needed a break.  Considering the Phillies won the World Series back in November and then reported for Spring Training in March, these guys had little rest to recover from the nagging injuries.  After getting their legs and strength back during the beginning of the season, the Phillies were able to put together the wins.

4)       Raul Ibanez’s return the lineup and clubhouse may have sparked the rest of the team to play better.  Ibanez, not part of the last season’s squad, is playing extremely well and especially chasing that World Series championship.

I don’t know how they did it, but there is nothing better than watching the Phillies win and win consistently playing baseball the right way.

Also, Ryan Howard has his form back: Here’s his 200th:

Keep in mind that no matter how well the Phillies are playing right now, the Braves are playing excellent baseball and are only 6 games out of the division lead.  The Phillies need to continue to play well and take care of winning the important divisional games.

Winning on the Road

June 24, 2009

Phillies Logo

Phillies Logo

After a horrendous home stand, the Phillies got back into the win column with a drubbing of the World Series runner-ups, Tampa Bay Rays. Of course, this win came on the road.

Regardless of this most recent win, with an excellent offensive display, there are concerns about this Phillies team. We’ve discussed their faltering bullpen (overworked, not focused, an illusion last season, etc…), their inability to win at home (appearance of lazy and callous play) and their overall undetermined attitude for winning. I think the first two problems can be easily fixed. They can sure up their starting pitching with a trade or expecting more out of their younger pitchers. Winning at home should come more easily once they are able to realize that they can beat any team in the league anywhere with the appropriate focus.

Now the biggest problem is their attitude towards winning. During the World Series run, the Phillies exuded confidence, power and determination. Right now, they appear to be playing the card: “We won already, we just have to get there and we have nothing left to prove.” This attitude has to be fixed immediately. Charlie Manuel is doing everything he can to get this team to win (except some of his relief pitching decisions). The leaders on this Phillies team – Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard – have to lead by example and really show their teammates that they want another World Series.

Regardless of all their problems, the Phillies still hold a lead in their division and have plenty of time to turn things around and play consistent baseball. I think they can do it.

Hamels and Run Support

May 15, 2009
Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels

Yesterday, I “gamecasted” the Phillies/Dodgers tilt and followed a pretty satisfying performance from Cole Hamels.  He finished with 9 strikeouts and held the Dodgers to two runs.  However, the supposed powerful line-up from the Phillies only was able to produce 1 run for an excellent outing from Hamels.  The Phillies did score 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th to send the game to extra innings only to see Chad Durbin give up two runs.  The Phillies didn’t generate any offense in the bottom of the 10th, including a strikeout from Ryan Howard to end the game.

Yes, it’s early in the season, but this trend of poor run production for your ace pitcher is not good.  I hope the team isn’t relying too heavily upon Hamels to win games himself.  Every game the Phillies should be expected to crank out runs.  They have a potentially potent and powerful offense.  If the Phillies continue to produce 1 run through 8 innings it is going to be a long World Series defending season.  

PhilaTude always stands by the Phillies and especially World Series MVP Cole Hamels, but if this blasé attitude continues from the team, the Phillies might need to shake some things up. 

Notes:  I am making the journey down to Virginia (I loathe heading south of Columbia, MD) to see the Phillies take on the Washington Nationals.  Look for my report next week on the new stadium and hopefully, the tons of Phillies fans in attendance bleeding PhilaTude.