Phillies give Howard a day off

 Posted by at 1:14 pm
Aug 272010

Phillies 1B Ryan Howard

August 26 Philadelphia Inquirer

“Closely monitoring the left ankle of Ryan Howard, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel chose to sit out the slugger for Wednesday’s game against Houston – a day after Howard was ejected in extra innings while arguing a checked swing.

Following his one-game rehabilitation assignment Friday with triple-A Lehigh Valley, Howard had played four consecutive games for the Phillies and has gone 2 for 19 with 10 strikeouts.

On Tuesday, he tied a franchise record with five strikeouts in the Phils’ 4-2, 16-inning loss to the Astros before he was ejected in the bottom of the 14th. Only six players had reached that mark before.

The length of Tuesday’s game, 5 hours, 20 minutes, prompted Manuel to sit him out Wednesday.

“When he stays on his ankle a long time, I’ve got to watch him,” Manuel said. “But also, he needs to find his swing. I know he’s got to play to do that, but at the same time, it was a good time to give him a day off.”

Also factoring into Manuel’s decision was that Houston was sending lefthander J.A. Happ to the mound on Wednesday.

Howard got into Wednesday’s loss in the ninth inning as a pinch-hitter and singled.

On Tuesday, third base umpire Scott Barry called Howard out on a strikeout on a 1-2 count as Howard tried to check his swing. At that point, Howard was 0 for 7, recording his second straight hitless outing. He tossed his bat and helmet and ran toward Barry, a triple-A fill-in umpire.

Teammates had to restrain Howard, who was ejected for the second time in his career.

Howard declined comment Wednesday.

“It’s not an easy job,” Manuel said. “He’s put in a position where he has to umpire the game. He’s got a job to do, and hopefully he was doing it to the best he possibly could. . . . It’s not up to me to make judgment on it.””

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