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Ryan Howard

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December 31, 2008
What? Ryan Howard, Mr. Phillies, finished fourth in a year when the Phillies won the World Series? Well, yes. So much is made of what Howard does too much of that sometimes what he does do seems underappreciated. It is appreciated exactly the right amount. In a two-horse race, Howard finished second in NL MVP voting, well behind Albert Pujols, mainly because Howard, the 2006 MVP, struck out 199 times and hit .251, lower than any MVP winner. Howard, in his third full season, led the NL in home runs and RBI, but with all the whiffs and the laughable .215 average through June, finishing second was justice served.
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September 11, 2010 | By Ray Parrillo, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - Ryan Howard either can't explain it or would prefer not to even try. After all, superstition is in just about every baseball player's DNA, so why invite a jinx? But for whatever reason - sharper focus, pennant-race adrenaline - September has been Howard's most productive month since he took root as the Phillies' full-time cleanup hitter in 2006. He's at it again. Howard hit an impressive bases-empty home run to tie Friday's game against the Mets at Citi Field, 3-3. It was his fifth homer in 10 games this month and third in three games.
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April 15, 2009 | By Andy Martino and Jim Salisbury INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Ryan Howard has made a number of changes since the Phillies won a World Series championship last October. He signed a multiyear contract. He dropped about 20 pounds. He labored to improve his defense. And, canny observers may have noticed, he began wearing a mouthpiece during games. The first baseman, 29, is always seeking ways to improve. When he saw Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez sporting a clear mouthpiece on his lower row of teeth last season, Howard was intrigued.
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July 21, 2013 | BY BOB VETRONE JR., Daily News Staff Writer vetronb@phillynews.com
WHEN HE WENT on the disabled list earlier this month with a torn meniscus in his left knee, Ryan Howard had just surpassed the 5,000 mark for career major league plate appearances. So we thought it convenient to break his career numbers down into five segments, each ending with the game where he accumulated another 1,000 PA. And, as suspected, the early Ryan Howard was by far the best, as virtually all of his numbers below show: Plate Bat. On-Base Slug. HR SO From To (Age)
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July 3, 2013 | By Dick Jerardi, Daily News Staff Writer
THE PHILLIES had been so sorry for so long that it really seemed their forever fate. Ryan Howard intervened. Your baseball team had been in the playoffs once from 1984 to 2006. They were mostly bad, usually boring and without imagination or inspiration. Ryan Howard intervened. He was the accidental Rookie of the Year in 2005. When Jim Thome got hurt, Howard got called up and went for 22 homers and 63 RBI in just 88 games. You wonder if Phillies management of that era ever would have understood what they had if Thome had not been injured.
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April 11, 2007
It wasn't hard to score Ryan Howard's appearance on the the "Late Show with David Letterman" last night. The Phillies first baseman hit a grand slam. Howard, while obviously more at home on the baseball diamond, more than held his own. Time after time, Letterman lobbed softball questions that the Phillies star hit out of the park to the delight and laughter of the audience. In one lighthearted exchange, Letterman discussed whether Ryan anticipated pitches. "You're a tremendous hitter," Letterman said.
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July 13, 2011
ON THE DAY AFTER the All-Star Game was played in Phoenix without Ryan Howard, this column is directed at the haters and bashers who have been coming out of the woodwork in larger numbers than usual. They are predictable as smog in a heat wave. They pretend to be knowledgable baseball fans, but trip themselves up every time because they are dead wrong. And egregiously stupid. I hear the reason why he was not voted into the All-Star Game by the fans - and Phillies fans basically ignored him while stuffing the ballot box for an injured Shane Victorino - is because the National League has all these great first basemen.
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October 16, 2008 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Staff Writer
LOS ANGELES - Professional at-bats, Charlie Manuel likes to call them. Ryan Howard kept getting them last night. Three singles, all to right field, an early run and RBI, followed by a professional walk. That postseason slump? That headline on Philly.com? The one that said, "Howard's vanishing act. " Take it off the Web site. On the night the Phillies punched their ticket to the 2008 World Series, Howard had himself some professional at-bats. Like the one in the third inning when the Phillies got a little cushion.
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October 28, 2009 | by Michael Radano
Position: First base Height, weight: 6-4, 260 Age: 29. Birthdate: Nov. 19, 1979 Hometown: St. Louis Years pro: 5 How acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2001 amateur draft. This year: Howard is again in the middle of the National League MVP race after he hit .279 with 45 home runs and 141 RBI in the regular season. Even when he struggles to hit for average - he's a career .279 hitter - Howard has the ability to carry a team with his production numbers.
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July 21, 2015 | BY JOHN SMALLWOOD, Daily News Staff Writer smallwj@phillynews.com
THE VISUALIZATION wasn't working. Yesterday, the Phillies started their annual "Christmas in July" promotion when they ask fans to bring new, unwrapped toys to be donated to the Police Athletic League and Carson Valley Children's Aid - the toy drive, by the way, continues through the three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays that ends on Wednesday. Still, while Christmas music blared between innings, thoughts of December frost and snowflakes could not erase the fact it was one of the hottest days of the year, 95 degrees and rising.
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July 21, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jeff Francoeur spent the first three months of last season in the minor leagues. He was a nine-year major-league veteran traversing the western United States by bus with the El Paso Chihuahuas. He worked his way back to the major leagues, first, by accepting the Phillies' non-roster invitation to spring training. The 31-year-old then played himself onto the opening-day roster by securing the final bench spot. And now Francoeur is playing himself into a starting role. Francoeur's major-league comeback continued Sunday as his walk-off homer lifted the Phillies past the Miami Marlins, 8-7, at Citizens Bank Park.
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July 21, 2015 | By Matt Breen and Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writers
Cole Hamels' three-inning performance on Sunday continued a trend of short outings for Phillies starters. A Phillies starting pitcher has gone more than five innings in just 55 of the team's 95 games this season, the third-worst mark in the majors. The Phillies have had only one starter log more than six innings in the last 10 games. The rotation's inability to pitch deep into games has forced the relievers to work overtime. On Sunday, there seemed to be someone throwing on the bullpen mound from the third inning until the end of the game.
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July 20, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chad Billingsley cruised through the first five innings in a 3-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies starter threw just 70 pitches as he scattered four hits without allowing a run. It was his finest performance of the season. Four more outs and it would have been his longest outing since 2012. But the mound was empty to start the sixth inning. The bullpen door opened and Jake Diekman jogged to the infield. Billingsley was done. The righthander's stellar night ended with a bizarre finish.
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July 20, 2015 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
HEY, MAYBE they are just a second-half team. After a six-inning battle against Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, the Phillies exploded for four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday night and seized a 6-3 win in their first game since the All-Star break. The pivotal play came with one out in the eighth, when Maikel Franco hit a line drive that Marlins centerfielder Gole Gillespie Yelich overran and ultimately dropped, pushing pinch-hitter Odubel Herrera home for the go-ahead run and moving Cesar Hernandez to third.
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July 19, 2015 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
The second half of the season for the Phillies is about hope, or at least hoping that the starting pitching can reverse its first-half ways. First there was the news on Friday morning that the Phillies will be promoting top pitching prospect Aaron Nola from triple-A Lehigh Valley and that he will start Tuesday against visiting Tampa Bay. And then lefthander Adam Morgan continued to make a pitch for a role in the 2016 rotation with his third strong...
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July 15, 2015 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Columnist
THERE'S AN OLD "Saturday Night Live" skit in which Jon Lovitz, playing Mephistopheles as a defendant on "The People's Court," explains how he could have tricked an 18-year-old beautician into surrendering her soul to him, "by observing only the letter of the agreement. " "I'll give somebody eternal youth," he says. "Then have them sentenced to life imprisonment. " "It's standard . . . I'm the devil. " If Cole Hamels is still a Phillie on Aug. 1, it will be far from a life sentence and his deal will be far from devilish.
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July 14, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - The most defeat-filled first half in Phillies history ended Sunday with a brisk 2-hour, 23-minute afternoon game at AT&T Park. After a 4-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants, the players on baseball's worst team packed their bags and headed opposite ways for a much-needed all-star break. "One good thing is, we've got the four-game break," interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "So we can go home and relax and try to get our heads together, just take the pressure off for a while and see what happens.
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July 13, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - As the final days before the crucial July 31 trade deadline wear on, the Phillies' front office will continue to discuss, internally, the times at which their tradable assets would garner the most value. For instance, it's conceivable Jonathan Papelbon could prove easier to trade in the winter, when the then-35-year-old closer is likely to be pitching on a one year, $13 million deal. The less salary remaining on Ryan Howard's albatross of a contract, the better chance the Phillies could find a taker for the first baseman, who turns 36 in November.
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July 11, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
LOS ANGELES — A night after falling victim to a dominant Clayton Kershaw, the Phillies ran into another buzzsaw in Zack Greinke. Greinke's incredible recent run of success reached a new apex Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, where the Los Angeles righthander allowed merely one hit over eight shutout innings. While lowering his already major-league best ERA, the former Cy Young Award winner sent the Phillies to San Francisco on the heels of a second consecutive shutout loss, 6-0. The Phillies fell to a woeful 30 games under .500, the earliest in a season they have done so since 1997.
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