Ryan Howard has struggled since returning from the DL a short time ago, but with a walk off single in the ninth to give the Phillies the win on Sunday afternoon, has to help his confidence moving forward.
“It’s just been a timing issue,” said Howard, who is batting .208 in 23 games since being activated from the DL. “I’ve been kind of in between, start too late, start too early. I’ve got to find the happy place.”
“That’s a big hit,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. “When he went up there, I said that the pitcher was the one in trouble.”
The Phillies received an unusual below average start from Cliff Lee who fails to pick up his first home win of the season giving up four runs in eight innings of work. With the trade deadline long and gone, talks still loom about Lee involving any waiver wire transactions between the Phillies and potential suitors. For Lee though, he still believes his performance is far from satisfactory even with poor run support this season.
“I have to do a better job of keeping the ball down and in the ballpark, especially when it’s hot here because the ball travels really good,” Lee said.
The Phillies got off to a rocky start trailing 3-0 to the Diamondbacks in the second inning due to home runs from Chris Johnson and Stephen Drew. The Phillies were able to get back into the game, due to a wild pitch from Trevor Cahill, and a Chase Utley blast to right field. After a Paul Goldschimdt home run and a David Hernandez throwing error, the game was knotted up going into the ninth inning. Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, then it was Howard’s time to shine.
After being booed in the eighth inning for his third strikeout of the game, Howard smacked a clean single into right for the walk off win.
“It feels good,” Howard said. “I’ll just try and build on it.”
The Phillies will try to build on this win with a series against NL East foe Miami Marlins for the next few days. On a tragic note, the Phillies held a moment of silence before the game for Garrett Reid, the son of Eagles coach Andy Reid who was found dead in his Lehigh dorm room on Sunday morning while assisting the team in training camp. Thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Reid and his family.
About the Author
Written by Matt LaCoille
My name is Matt LaCoille and I am an extremely passionate sports fan. I've enjoyed watching my favorite sports teams since I was born, as well as talk to people about the everyday state of professional sports. Sports are my life, my passion, and my future. I have interned with multiple professional sports teams and organizations as well within the athletic departments of multiple colleges and universities. I currently attend Western New England University with a major in sports management and will continue to pursue a masters in sports administration afterwords. My goal is to one day work full time within a professional sports organization and do what I truly enjoy. Feel free to comment on the articles or message if you would like to talk sports, I'm very open to discussion. Thanks for reading!