Ryan Howard Ejection Wasn’t Worth It

August 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Ryan Howard cost the Philadelphia Phillies a game they desperately needed last night in the NL East playoff chase.

The Phillies are 2.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the division. With the Braves losing last night, the Phillies had an opportunity to make up a game on the division leaders.

Instead, Ryan Howard was ejected in the 14th inning while arguing a check swing that resulted in his fifth strikeout of the night.

The Phillies went on to lose to the Houston Astros 4-2 in 16 innings.

Howard struggled mightily all night at the plate. He went 0-7 on top of his five strikeout performance.

It was his seventh and final at-bat that proved to be his worst one of the night as he was ejected.

With Howard’s ejection, left fielder Raul Ibanez had to move to first. The Phillies had no players left on the bench after the incident prompting Manager Charlie Manuel to insert pitcher Roy Oswalt into left field.

Oswalt, hitting .150 on the season proved to be the final out of the game as he grounded out to third with the game tying run on first. The Astros took advantage of the Phillies’ situation by intentionally walking Chase Utley after Placido Polanco had also walked.

That brought Oswalt to the plate and effectively ended all hope to Philadelphia’s chances.

Ryan Howard should have been smarter in this situation and kept his cool knowing that the Phillies could not afford to lose a player. As soon as third base umpire Scott Barry said Howard did not check his swing Howard became enraged and the Phillies chances of winning the game went down in flames.

Even though Howard was having a rough night at the plate, Phillies fans would have much rather seen his eighth at-bat of the night with a chance to win the game, than to see Oswalt’s first at-bat of the night with very little chance to even tie the game.

The Phillies have won the division the last three years. They have come on strong at the end of the each season to do so.

This year looks to be no different as the Phillies have gone 14-7 in the month of August. Games like this won’t help their cause.

There is no guarantee that the Phillies would have went on to win this game, but Howard would have given them their best chance win. Howard has spent enough time out of the Phillies lineup this season. He needs to do everything he can to stay in it for the rest of the season.

Howard was not the sole reason the Phillies lost the game. They were unable to capitalize on the momentum they gained after Jimmy Rollins tied the game with a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth.

The Phillies were playing at home against an inferior opponent and still couldn’t score enough runs in 16 innings to come away with the victory.

This was a game that Philadelphia needed to win and one that could come back to haunt them at the end of the season.

Ryan Howard needs to be the leader that he was paid to be. He needs to get the Phillies back on track if they are going to win the division for the fourth straight season.


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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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