Heart of the Lineup Still Silent

utley and howard.jpg

It’s pretty remarkable the Phillies still have a chance to win the NLCS, despite the fact Ryan Howard and Chase Utley have no RBIs in the series.

Zero.

Utley is hitting .158 (3 for 19) with three walks, two strikeouts, three stolen bases and four runs scored. I’m not sure what is more amazing: he has no extra-base hits or he has scored four runs despite being on base just six times. Utley also has hit just .182 with one homer and four RBIs in his last nine postseason games, dating to Game 6 of the 2009 World Series.

Howard is hitting .294 (5 for 17) with three doubles, one walk, nine strikeouts and one run scored. He has not homered in nearly a month (Sept. 25 against the Mets). He has struck out 27 times in his last 51 postseason at-bats over 14 games. He has just one home run and three RBIs in that stretch, dating to Game 1 of the 2009 World Series.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, the 1962 New York Yankees are the last team to win a best-of-seven series without getting one RBI from its cleanup hitter. Mickey Mantle hit cleaneup in that year’s World Series, which was played against the San Francisco Giants.

“I’ll go 0-for-whatever if we win,” Howard said. “It doesn’t matter.”

Of course, the Phillies stand a much better chance of winning tonight if they hit Jonathan Sanchez early and often. The Phillies’ Nos. 3 and 4 hitters could help make that happen.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

6 Comments

So the upshot is if Ryan had been more productive, the Phillies would already be heading to the WS? Three doubles without an RBI? Seems to me this says more about the rest of the team than it does about Ryan.

No, what this says is that Ryan cannot hit in pressure situations. Most of his hits have come with nobody on…notice what happens when runners are on base. How about 9 strikeouts in 17 at bats. He chokes…always has. You would think for $25 mil a year he would be able to cut down on strikeouts and start hitting the ball the other way instead of trying to pull it all the time.

“He chokes…always has”??? How soon we forget last year’s NLDS and NLCS. “Get me to the plate, boys.” Does that ring a bell? People never criticize Chase the way they criticize Howard. Hmm… I wonder why that is? It’s not like Utley’s making peanuts either! In the end, they are both struggling, and they are both due to have a breakout game. Hopefully, it will be tonight. Go Phils!

Ryan does not make $25 million this year or next. Seems as if you are factually challenged. Three doubles no RBIs, is it his fault no one is on? 9 strikeouts in 17 at bats yet he is still hitting .294. Your ire should be directed at the “hitting guru” rather than Ryan. While you are at it, go after the other early onset dementia turkey who coaches third base.

Phallus, Phallus, Phallus. The Fat Boy is the only player in baseball who wishes he could hit his weight. Of course he his RBI’s in the playoff are equal to your IQ. Zero, Zilch, Nada, Nil, None. Get my point you mental midget?

Pherris,

Hi. I’m the word “average.” If Howard makes 125 over 5 years, it really is 25 a year. He’s the second highest paid position player in the MLB, so he’s accountable. He’s been horrible the last 3 playoff series he’s played in – leadoff doubles that pad the average don’t count. Frankly, in a pinch (like the ninth last nite, for example), there are probably 4 other guys on the TEAM you’d rather have batting (and maybe 10 others in the division… then add the central, then West, keep extrapolating). He’s grossly overpaid, his hitting/pitch selection has not improved, and they will definitely regret this in the next few years…

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