Thursday, April 17, 2008

Alive And Well

The Reverse Curse is Alive and Well.

Mere hours after lamenting the Phillies' silent bats, they unleashed a barrage of home runs en route to a 10-2 victory over the Astros.

I had thought about writing this AM that Ryan Howard looked more comfortable at the plate last night than I'd seen him appear all season. He hit the ball hard a few times including a solid poke up the middle. He didn't try and pull everything thrown within his zip code and though he struck out looking in his last AB, he went down on a tough pitch.

Today he continued to look like he might be emerging from his season-long funk, stroking his fourth homer of the year and second in three games.

Meanwhile, not to be outdone on the RC front, Brett Myers, this writer's favorite whipping boy, threw a second consecutive strong game, upping his record to 2-1 and lowering his ERA below 4 runs per game.


Anonymous said...

Ryan Howard might be willing to admit there's a slight difference between Brandon Backe and Johan Santana...

Small signs of encouragement aside, we're all still waiting for Howard to make the adjustment necessary to continue as an all-star caliber player, after pitchers clearly have made the adjustment to him. When will the light go on? Look how long it took for Rollins to mature as a hitter...years. And Rollins had the advantage of supreme confidence all the while, which Howard does not possess. Patience is bound to start wearing a bit thin, because Howard does not help you in any real way if he's not hitting the ball. We imagined that his struggles to start last season had much to do with his knee and with his contract renewal, but that's revealed itself to be a myth. Howard is simply struggling mightily with the mental aspect of hitting.


Tom Goodman said...

Ah, yes, there surely is a difference between the two as you astutely observe. Your comment is an excellent one worth posting elsewhere as well. I haven't read a better take on Howard's struggles. What struck me in the Houston series was his apparent willingness to go the other way or, at least, not to try and pull everything. But as you observe, his confidence is not nearly sufficient to carry over small triumphs from one game or pitcher to the next.