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Ryan Howard Sitting on Career-Lows

Ryan Howard went 0-for-4 last night in the series opener against the Chicago Cubs, just a small part of the Phillies’ collective inability to push runs across the board against Rodrigo Lopez. The 3-4-5 in the lineup collectively went hitless in 11 at-bats while John Mayberry Jr. was the only one to have more than one hit. As the Phillies had been on a roll offensively (55 runs in the eight games prior), and were much improved after getting Chase Utley back (average 4.6 runs per game since May 23), we can’t really complain about this one bad game.

However, it is getting increasingly more difficult to ignore Howard’s precipitous decline. I’ve become known as a Howard-hater (I’m not really), so I will just present the facts and leave the conclusions up to you, the reader. The following is a large selection of Howard’s current offensive stats, accurate prior to last night’s game against the Cubs. If you don’t understand any of the stats or would like to learn more about them, click here.

  • Platoon Splits: Howard was known for being average to slightly above-average against left-handed pitching, but extremely good against right-handed pitching.
  • 2011 vs. RHP: .368 wOBA. Previous career-low: .372 in 2010. Career average: .419.
  • Howard is on pace for 31 home runs and 124 RBI. While not as good as his 2006-09 numbers, it is roughly equivalent to last year’s production. Given what appears to be the dawning of a new era of pitching and defense, those numbers appear quite good. However, the Sabermetric stats paint a different and much more pessimistic picture. Howard has become known for his ridiculously productive second-halves; here’s hoping he has another one up his sleeve.