In the fourth inning of last night's contest with the Utley-led Dodgers, Ryan Howard belted a HR to DEEP center off Ross Stripling to give him 376 dingers for his career moving into 75th place all-time, passing Carlton Fisk. It's moments like this when we learn to cherish the memory that is The Big Piece. We all know that when Howard tore his Achilles in the 2012 NLDS his career sort of fizzled, which is expected when you tear your fucking Achilles. A power hitter whose entire career is based off hitting .220 and hitting 40+ HR a year is no longer useful when he hits .200 and hits 15 home runs. Trying to hit bombs on one leg is something only Kirk Gibson can do.
So for Howard to decline the way he did was expected. But watching him go up to bat game after game and strike out waving at back door sliders and literally anything on the outer half of the plate became frustrating for many fans watching his 125 million dollar contract go to waste. So when Tommy Joseph got the call to the bigs, we thought Howard's days were over. I for one was sick of him. I was all for cutting him and saying thanks for 2008, but we're done with you. And fans started to boo him on his occasional starts at first base. But then he does things like hit his 376th home run... and totally redeems himself.
We often forget that Ryan Howard was a fucking stud in his heyday. From 2006-2011 (the year that will live in infamy) The Big Piece hit 262 home runs and drove in 796 runs!! So we should show this man nothing but respect and praise every time he steps into the batter's box. In the first 57 games of 2016, Ryan Howard was just bad. Hitting well below .200 and hitting only 10 HR. But in his last 30 games, Howard has hit 9 HR, driven in 22 RBI, and hitting .314, (.389 over his last 15!). To see Ryan somewhat heating up in the second half of the season is refreshing to watch. We all know he is getting near the end and watching him climb the home run board is nice to see. Good for you Big Piece and thank you for your dominance of CBP during my formative years of fandom.
Here's a little TBT from 2009 of a very long, dick swinging home run