Howard Does It; The ‘Doc’ Doesn’t

23 Sep

Ryan Howard hit his 300th home run last night.

It was a blast to deep center field in the fourth inning, estimated to have traveled 440 feet.  It was Howard’s 14th home run of the season after missing the first three months with his healing Achilles.  It was his fourth consecutive game with a home run following a streak of 0-67 without a single long ball.

Ryan Howard’s 276 homers and 850 RBIs since the start of the 2006 season are the most in the Major Leagues.  He becomes the second-fastest player in Major League history to reach 300.  It took him just six more games than legendary Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner to reach the 300 mark.

In Phillies history, Howard is second in homers to only Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, who hit 548. Howard joins Chuck Klein at No. 134 on the all-time list, with Rogers Hornsby next with 301 long balls.

I wish I could milk this milestone even longer because that, my friends, was the only good news from  the Phillies 8-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves giving their Playoff hopes a severe blow.

Roy Halladay was….well let’s just say the Doctor was clearly NOT in the house.  He gave up  seven runs on five hits as he couldn’t even make it through the second inning.  Yes, every pitcher struggles from time to time but somehow when it’s Halladay, it’s just hard to watch.

He wouldn’t blame his ineffectiveness on his injury or recent spasms he has had in the shoulder area but let’s hope a recuperative off-season will have the ‘Doc’ back to being, well, the ‘Doc.’

No, the Phillies are not mathematically eliminated yet and based on the dismal start to their season, that fact alone should be considered an accomplishment.

This late season surge making baseball exciting in September was an unexpected bonus.  At least that’s how I choose to view it as I sip my coffee,  the  morning after Ryan Howard hit his 300th home run.

(See how I managed to end things on a good note this Sunday morning???)

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