Phillies slugger Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer Monday night in the NL championship series, tying Lou Gehrig’s major league record of eight straight postseason games with at least one RBI.
Howard connected against Dodgers left-hander Randy Wolf in the first inning of Game 4 and has driven in a run in Philadelphia’s eight playoff games this year. Gehrig’s streak stretched over two postseasons with the New York Yankees in 1928 and 1932.
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“Ryan has been swinging real good, of course,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said before Game 4. “He’s seeing the ball good, he looks real relaxed at the plate, and from a mechanics standpoint, he’s loading up good and he’s staying on the ball.”
Howard has 14 RBIs this postseason and has reached base safely in 17 straight playoff games.
Perhaps some of his success this postseason can be attributed to Jayson Werth, who has made it tough for teams to pitch around the big first baseman.
Werth, an All-Star in his first season as a full-time starter, is only hitting .250 in the playoffs. But, he has three homers, six RBIs and six walks.
“I like hitting behind Howie even though it seems like there’s no one on base hitting fifth,” Werth said. “But it’s exciting. I get to drive in a lot of runs and be a big part of the lineup right in the middle of it.”
Werth platooned most of last year with Geoff Jenkins until taking over as the regular right fielder down the stretch and in the playoffs. The job was all his this year, and Werth responded. He batted .268 with 36 homers and 99 RBIs.
“Hitting is contagious for sure,” Werth said. “One of the things about Ryan, you get to stand on deck while he’s hitting. You get a pretty good seat, and especially when he hits balls really far. You don’t usually get to see even when you’re on deck and anyone else is hitting – the ball doesn’t come off the bat really like it comes off his. I find myself just kind of watching more as a fan sometimes, standing on deck getting ready to hit.”