Tag: Ryan Howard

Prince Fielder

Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard are back


Rangers DH Prince Fielder hit two home runs in Friday night’s win against the Yankees and he homered again in a blowout win on Saturday. The slugger, who missed most of the 2014 season after undergoing neck surgery, now has eight home runs on the year with 30 RBI and a .351/.407/.544 triple-slash line.

Meanwhile, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard homered again in a rout of the Nationals on Saturday, giving him three in his last four games and 10 on the season along with 23 RBI and a .270/.316/.554 triple-slash line. Howard suffered a torn Achilles at the end of the 2011 NLDS and tore his meniscus in 2013. He hasn’t shown power at this level since 2009, when he hit 45 home runs.

Fielder and Howard represent two of baseball’s worst contracts, so their respective teams are happy they’re seeing at least some positive return on their investments. Fielder was signed as a free agent to a nine-year, $214 million deal by the Tigers in January 2012. He joined the Rangers along with $30 million in a swap for Ian Kinsler. $144 million over six years remains, including his 2015 salary. Howard signed a five-year, $125 million contract extension with the Phillies in April 2010, two years before he was eligible for free agency. $60 million over two years ($25 million annually in ’15 and ’16 plus a $10 million buyout for ’17) remains on Howard’s deal.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Bumgarner Kershaw

source: Getty Images

Giants 4, Dodgers 0: It’s hard to have as good of a series against your rivals than the Giants just had. In addition to your pitcher hitting a homer off the reigning Cy Young and MVP award winner, you shut them out for three straight games, outscoring them 10-0. That’s 34-straight scoreless innings for the Dodgers in AT&T Park dating back to their series there a month ago.


Braves 10, Brewers 1: Will Smith getting ejected for a foreign substance “That thing you’re doing is against the rules and we’re gonna get you run out of the game for it and you’ll get suspended but thank goodness you’re doing it because it’s to ensure the safety of our guys but Jesus, man, you have to hide that good/illegal thing you’re doing!” In other news, the whole “that guy is doing something technically illegal and ultimately it actually helps at mitigating injuries but, dude, don’t be so obvious about it” is the human growth hormone story too.


Orioles 5, Mariners 4: Steve Pearce hit a grand slam and the teams used 13 pitchers and sat at the park for hours and hours on end thanks to a lengthy rain delay. This sort of game makes me wonder why no baseball TV show — either a drama or a sitcom — has ever taken off. If you treated it like “M*A*S*H” or something episodic but character-driven you could totally do it. One whole episode would just be guys killing time during a rain delay. Some weird personal drama with the manager and his bench coach — maybe musings on old mens’ mortality — is your A-story. A running thing about guys playing cards is your b-story. The whole episode is about how ill-equipped these guys are to function outside of baseball and how, when you have three hours to do NOTHING but think about non-baseball things, they’re all at a loss. Jesus, Hollywood. Give me my development deal already. Got a head full of ideas on this.

Blue Jays 8, Angels 4: R.A. Dickey allowed four runs and five hits, walked two and struck out seven while tossing a complete game. In that baseball “M*A*S*H”-up, you have to go light on actual game action because, unless MLB Network produces it, game action footage is going to be expensive and if you try to DIY your way through it it’s gonna look hokey. But at some point you have a one-off episode in which the team picks up a knuckleballer and he totally messes up the rhythms of everything from the clubhouse and on the field and personal relationships and all around. The overall theme of that episode is baseball’s comfort of conformity and the inability of these odd and often damaged people to confront change and unconventionality in their lives.

Tigers 6, Astros 5: James McCann hit a homer in the 11th inning to put the Tigers up for good. This guy has two career homers. An inside-the-parker and an extra-inning game-winning job. All of the rest of his homers will be relatively anti-climatic now. Congratulations, McCann. Best case scenario now is that you’re Orson Welles or Norman Mailer and you spend the rest of your life trying to convince people you’re really as good as your earliest work. There are way worse problems to have, but that has to be kind of annoying.

Mets 5, Cardinals 0: More like Jacob deGREAT, amirite? Oh, God. I’m sorry. That’s maybe the worst thing I’ve said in, well, maybe a day or two. deGrom strikes out 11 in eight one-hit shutout innings. Lucas Duda hits two bombs.

Rockies 7, Phillies 3: These two teams have played each other for 125 straight nights. I didn’t check that to be sure, but I am almost positive that is the case. Ryan Howard homered again. Is he back? Back just long enough to create a little trade value bubble for him? Who knows. The Rockies’ had more offense, though, as Michael McKenry hit a two-run homer Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run single and Brandon Barnes, had four hits. Jorge De La Rosa passed Ubaldo Jimenez to become the Rockies’ all-time strikeout leader with 774 in a black, white and sometimes purple uniform. David Nied has 127.

Rangers 3, Red Sox 1: Wandy Rodriguez shut the Sox down and Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer and drove in two. The Sox’ offense is stank on a stick. They’re 23rd in runs per game, 18th in OBP, 25th in slugging, 27th in batting average and 25th in extra-base hits.

Rays 3, Athletics 0: Alex Colome and four relievers combined on a six-hit shutout. The Rays have had some damn good pitching for a team which had, like, every single good pitcher get injured, get traded or come down with ebola or something in the past year.

Indians 5, White Sox 2: Three in a row for Cleveland who got six scoreless from Danny Salazar and homers from Nick Swisher — still alive apparently? Who knew? — and Mike Aviles.

Cubs 3, Padres 0: Kyle Hendricks with the five-hit shuout. Not over x innings with “x” defined as <9. Like, a legit, old school big boy shutout. Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer.

Diamondbacks 7, Marlins 6: A four-game sweep as the Marlins’ freefall continues. Keep in mind, this is a Dbacks team which came into this series having just been swept by the Phillies. The Flounders have lost seven straight.

Video: Ryan Howard launches his ninth home run

DENVER, CO - MAY 20:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated in the dugout by Manager Ryne Sandberg of the Philadelphia Phillies after he hit a solo home run during the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on May 20, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Phillies shopped Ryan Howard all winter and GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. said at one point that they’d be better off without him, but the veteran first baseman continues to show that there’s still some life remaining in his bat. Check out this blast against the Rockies today:

Part of the reason I posted this video was to show the kid who caught the home run ball and his celebratory reaction. You have to smile watching that.

Howard took advantage of Coors Field by going deep in each of the last two days and is now up to nine home runs on the year. All nine of his home runs have come since April 21. Only Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton have hit more in the same timespan. That’s some pretty decent company.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Charlize Theron

Apart from the Bryce Harper ejection, which I’ll talk about below, not that dang much interesting seems to have happened last night. Which is part of that ebb-and-flow, yin-and-yang of the 2,400-game season I was talking about last week. Some Wednesday nights just sort of happen, and that’s a good thing. Baseball was there whether it was interesting or not and whether we saw it or not and that has its own value.

If anything cool happened I didn’t see it. Instead I went to go see “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which was every bit as exciting as it was made out to be. Though I think it’s possible people overstated what the movie actually is. There’s a lot of talk about its feminist underpinnings and commentary and a lot of hilariously awful people have denounced the movie in their sad little ways. Sure, there is some element of that here, but it’s not an overtly political movie. At least not any more political than the other Mad Max films which are all premised on the idea that some idiots have ruined the world and the other idiots who now run it do so in brutal fashion. It just so happens that those idiots are, Tina Turner notwithstanding, men.

Here the big to-do seems to be that It’s — gasp! — a movie with a strong woman in the lead and some strong women characters doing cool things and kicking a little War Boy ass. Which I suppose passes for radical these days, sadly. But if it wasn’t for the fact that most movies deliver pretty boring and cliche gender roles, people wouldn’t have made much of a note of it. All of which is to say that, to the extent “Fury Road” and its kickass women stick out in this regard it’s because everything else is so damn awful. If you put Trinity in the lead in “The Matrix” it would’ve worked just as well. Maybe better because she was amazing. But Hollywood tends not to do that and, as a result, we all act confused/surprised/excited/angry when Charlize Theron drives the War Wagon instead of some scruffy man.

As for the flick on its own terms, it’s a fantastically well-done, visually arresting B-movie which, if you know me, you know is not an insult at all. The other Mad Max flicks and most big action movies are basically B-movies at heart, even if their budgets and stars are big. “Fury Road” knows exactly what it’s doing, does it well and smashes up all kinds of crap in fun, explosive fabulousness in the process. Which is exactly what you need a couple of times a summer, especially on nights when the baseball really doesn’t deliver. Anyway:

Nationals 3, Yankees 2: Denard Span helped drive the comeback victory, hitting a bases-loaded single off reliever Justin Wilson in the seventh. The bases were loaded due to an error and a couple of walks which, well, not too great for the Yankees.

Of course everyone here was talking about the ump show, which was ridiculous, with home plate umpire Marvin Hudson (a) missing a call; (b) getting super defensive about it; and (c) ejecting Bryce Harper because, in Hudson’s view, he didn’t get back in the batter’s box fast enough. Of course, given that (a) Harper only left the box because Hudson had taken his mask off to jaw at the Nats’ dugout; and (b) pace-of-play issues are not supposed to be dealt with via ejections, Hudson’s only possible complaint was that Harper was bruising his wrongfully-substantial ego. Ridiculous. But of course there is no public accountability for umpires so it’s highly unlikely that we’ll hear of any discipline Hudson receives, however well-deserved it is.


Diamondbacks 6, Marlins 1: Six straight losses for Miami as they couldn’t figure out Chase Anderson. Who is a pitcher now but, if he existed in the 1980s, would be the evil, preppy rival of our hero who would be vanquished in The Big Game or The Big Match or something at the end of the movie. Then the hero would get the girl who would, somehow, have spent the middle part of the movie with Chase Anderson before coming to her senses. Why our hero is even interested in someone so fickle to begin with is beyond me and I bet that, later, they have some difficult conversations about the basis of their relationship. Or not. They’re in high school for Pete’s sake.

Angels 4, Blue Jays 3: Marc Krauss hit a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh after the Jays pitched around Mike Trout to get to him. As Krauss said after the game, it was a wise decision to pitch around Trout to get to Krauss and, even if it burned them here, anyone should be doing that regardless. Krauss was in the game, by the way, because Albert Pujols got hit in the hand with a pitch. He’s day-to-day.

Astros 6, Athletics 1: Dallas Keuchel won his eighth consecutive decision dating back to last season, allowing just one run, unearned, in seven innings.  His ERA on the year is now 1.67. Evan Gattis’ two-run homer in the sixth put Houston up for good and everything after was insurance. The Astros sport the best record in the AL. Just as everyone predicted they would.

Rangers 2, Red Sox 1Phil Klein made his first big league start and it went well: five and a third innings, five hits one run. The Sox had their chances but stranded runners like it was their job.

Mariners 4, Orioles 2: Roenis Elias, whose name I like to say more than most ballplayers because it just flows, man, allowed one run, six hits and no walks in seven and two-thirds. Justin Ruggiano homered scored twice and drove in two.

Twins 4, Pirates 3: Joe Mauer hit his first homer since last August and it came at a good time: the 13th inning. Torii Hunter went 3-for-5 with three RBI. The Pirates are 0-6 in extra innings.

Tigers 5, Brewers 2: Nick Castellanos hit a bases-clearing triple in the eighth. After runs were hard to come by in the past couple of games against Milwaukee, this had to seem like floodgates opening.

Braves 2, Rays 1: Rookie Williams Perez gave up one run over five innings and had seven strikeouts in his first major league start and rookie Todd Cunningham drove in the tiebreaking run with a groundout. That feeling when you really don’t know who the hell plays for your team anymore but, hey, you’ll take the win.

Cardinals 9, Mets 0: Matt Adams homered. Jason Heyward homered. Matt Holliday and Kolten Wong both had three hits. Bartolo Colon got shelled and the Mets fell out of their first-place tie in the East. Colon walked two batters. He had only walked one guy all season before yesterday.

Indians 4, White Sox 3: Shaun Marcum made his first big league start since July 2013 and got the win here after two years of battling shoulder ailments. Carlos Rodon made his third start for the White Sox and, while he did generally OK, pitching six innings and giving up one run on four hits, he walked five. He’s walking way too many guys.

Royals 7, Reds 1: Six shutout innings from Jeremy Guthrie as the Royals won for the fifth time in six games. That win improves their record to 26-14, with is KC’s best-ever record after 40 games.

Phillies 4, Rockies 2: Ryan Howard had three hits, including a homer. Howard is hitting .328 with four homers and 10 RBI in 64 at bats in May.

Cubs 3, Padres 2: A defacto bullpen game for the Cubs as Tsuyoshi Wada only lasted four and two-thirds, but he struck out nine guys regardless. His only mistake was allowing a two-run homer to Justin Upton.

Giants 4, Dodgers 0: The Tim Lincecum renaissance continues. He won his third straight, lowering his ERA to 2.08 after shutting down the Dodgers on three hits over seven shutout innings. Buster Posey hit a two-run homer in the seventh. Five wins in a row for the Giants, who are now only two and a half back of L.A.