Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ryan Howard's Platinum Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

I went on a little strikeout vacation and missed 6 Golden Sombreros between August 11-16 and for that, I apologize. With everybody striking out at a ridiculous pace, I ran out of pinata blooper videos and tequila jokes. But if there was anything to snap me out of my funk, it was Ryan Howard's performance last night.

Howard snagged the Olympic Rings in a mind blowing 0-7, 5-strikeout day at the plate. His check swing punchout in the 14th inning drew his ire prompting some helmet tossing and wild gesturing. Which of course led to his ejection. Then Raul Ibanez replaced the swing and miss prone slugger at first base and Roy Oswalt made his left field debut.

The real shame in this is that Howard had 7 plate appearances and was robbed of a potential 8th. I could be writing Howard's Horn or Titanium Sombrero right now. While I try to remain positive that Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds have a 6 strikeout game in them somewhere, let's take a look at Howards' day of futility...

Bottom 1st: Howard struck out looking against Bud Norris. Howard wasted no time but neither did Chase Utley who struck out swinging right before Howard. Did the Phillies rush their meat of the order back from the DL too soon? I can see this kind of slump for Howard but not Chase! I refuse to believe he's healthy.

Bottom 6th: Howard struck out swinging against Norris. Howard mixed in a fly out in the 3rd to keep things interesting.

Bottom 8th: Howard struck out swinging against Gustavo Chacin.

Bottom 10th: Howard struck out swinging against Fernando Abad. Howard is an equal opportunity swinger and misser, he doesn't care if I've heard of the pitcher or not.

Bottom 14th: Howard struck out swinging against Mark Melancon. This was the infamous check swing call that went against Howard causing him to go a wee bit crazy all over third base umpire Scott Barry. He threw his bat and helmet and charge after Barry flashing what I thought were gang signs. But I came to my senses and remembered this isn't the NBA.

Not a good night for Ryan Howard but I had a blast. Sure, I was denied a Titanium Sombrero by a fly out, foul out and overzealous umpire but this certainly rejuvenated my appreciation for a hitter sucking as bad as possible at the plate. Thank you, Ryan Howard.

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