Results tagged ‘ Albert Pujols ’
Howard finishes second in MVP voting
Slugger gets 12 first-place votes, but Cards’ Pujols wins award
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Let’s face facts, folks, Howard was just plain awful until he got hot in September while Pujols was helping the Cardinals all year, even with their late slide in September. Pujols deserves the award this year like Howard deserved it in 2006. So, congrats on the win, Pujols, and Howard, you know what you need to do next year to win the award.
PHILADELPHIA — Two years ago, Ryan Howard edged Albert Pujols for the National League Most Valuable Player Award, despite the fact that Pujols led his team to the playoffs and eventually a World Series championship.
Despite missing the playoffs that season, the Phillies had a better record than the Cardinals, and Howard’s 58 homers and 149 RBIs were too significant to ignore.
In 2008, Pujols won that argument for the same reason and captured the NL MVP Award, though Howard’s monstrous September and Major League-leading home run and RBI totals made the race much closer. Pujols may have had his best season, which is saying a lot for one of the game’s elite sluggers.
Howard received 12 first-place votes — six fewer than Pujols — and was named first, second or third on 31 of the 32 ballots submitted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Teammate and closer Brad Lidge, who went 41-of-41 in save opportunities during the regular season, received the other two first-place votes, and finished eighth with 104 points. Chase Utley received 30 total points for a 15th-place finish. He was named on nine ballots, none higher than fourth.
Howard’s second-place finish brings the honor back to St. Louis, where Pujols won in ’05 before giving way to Howard in ’06 and shortstop Jimmy Rollins in ’07.
“I can only control what I do on the field, and if it’s good enough [for MVP], so be it,” Howard said in September, when he batted .352 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs.
As dominating as Howard’s September was, Pujols practically did that every month while compiling arguably his finest season. The St. Louis slugger batted .357, two points shy of his career high, and set new personal bests with a .462 on-base percentage, a 1.115 OPS and 104 walks. He slugged .653, nearly 30 points better than his career average, and cranked 37 homers and 44 doubles. Pujols drove in 116 runs, scored 100 and struck out just 54 times. He never hit lower than .302 in any month, never had an OBP lower than .413 and never slugged below .558.
Howard endured some painful cold spells, notably April (.168), August (.213) and June (.234) before heating up for the final month. Without Howard’s hot stretch, the Phillies might not have qualified for the postseason.
“He got hot when we needed him, and we were able to get on his back for the ride,” Shane Victorino said, before the NL Division Series. “That was huge.”
And like Pujols in ’06, Howard can look at his World Series ring as the ultimate accomplishment.
|2008 NL MVP Award Voting|
|Albert Pujols, STL||18||10||2||1||1||369|
|Ryan Howard, PHI||12||8||6||1||1||2||1||308|
|Ryan Braun, MIL||2||3||5||5||2||2||3||2||1||139|
|Manny Ramirez, LAD||2||4||7||2||3||2||1||2||138|
|Lance Berkman, HOU||2||4||4||1||3||3||4||1||1||126|
|CC Sabathia, MIL||4||5||1||2||2||3||1||2||121|
|David Wright, NYM||2||1||4||3||3||2||5||2||1||115|
|Brad Lidge, PHI||2||2||4||3||2||3||1||2||104|
|Carlos Delgado, NYM||5||1||2||5||2||3||96|
|Aramis Ramirez, CHC||2||4||1||1||4||3||1||66|
|Hanley Ramirez, FLA||2||2||2||1||2||2||5||55|
|Chipper Jones, ATL||1||2||4||1||2||2||44|
|Geovany Soto, CHC||3||1||3||1||41|
|Johan Santana, NYM||1||1||1||1||2||1||30|
|Chase Utley, PHI||1||1||1||1||3||2||30|
|Ryan Ludwick, STL||1||2||3||1||17|
|Brandon Webb, ARI||2||1||14|
|Adrian Gonzalez, SD||1||1||1||4||13|
|Matt Holliday, COL||1||1||1||1||13|
|Prince Fielder, MIL||1||1||1||1||11|
|Derrek Lee, CHC||1||1||10|
|Carlos Beltran, NYM||1||1||1||10|
|Tim Lincecum, SF||1||1||2||9|
|Jose Reyes, NYM||1||3|
|Jose Valverde, HOU||1||3|
|Stephen Drew, ARI||1||2|
|Nate McLouth, PIT||1||1|
(H/T Phillies.com, MVP Ballot Voting: MLB.com)
Once again, congrats on the win Pujols. You had the better overall record this year. Howard, you have some work to do during the post-season. A lot of work.
Brett Myers pitches his second straight strong outing, while the Phillies rally late to score four runs in the eight to take the lead, then they would hang on to win, as the Phillies defeat the Cardinals, 5-4. With the win, they would increase their lead in the East to two and a half games as the Marlins lose to the Rockies. The Cardinals would score the first run in the second, as Troy Glaus would hit a RBI single, scoring Ryan Ludwick, who has doubled earlier, to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. The Cardinals would increase their lead to 2-0 when Ludwick would hit a solo home run in the fourth, his twenty-seventh home run of the year. The Phillies would cut the Cardinals’ lead to 2-1 in the sixth, as Chase Utley would hit a solo home run of his own, his twenty-eighth home run of the year. The Phillies would finally light up the Cardinals’ bullpen in the top of the eighth. With one out, and Kyle McClellan pitching, Jayson Werth would get on base with a single. McClellan would be replaced by Jaime Garcia. He would get Utley to hit into a force out, first to the shortstop, wiping out Werth at second for the second out. Ryan Howard would follow him with a single, sending Utley to second. Garcia is then replaced by Russ Springer. The Phillies would then go to work. Pat Burrell would greet Spriger with a single, scoring Utley and sending Ryan to second to make it 3-2 Cardinals. Shane Victornio would then take Garcia deep with a three-run home run, his tenth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 5-2 lead. Greg Dobbs would then ground out to end the inning. The Cardinals then try to rally back in their half of the eighth. With one out, Brendan Ryan, who has gotten on base earlier with a pinch hit single, moved to second on a J.C. Romero’s balk, and then went to third on a ground out, would score on a Howard’s fielding error of pinch hitter Nick Stavinoha’s grounder, making it a 5-3 Phillies’ lead. After Romero hits Joe Mather with a pitch to put runners on first and second, he is replaced by Ryan Madson. Madson would then proceed to walk Albert Pujols to load the bases. With Ludwick now batting, Madson would get him to hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning, the third one that the Phillies would get in as many innings. In the ninth, the Phillies would give the ball to Brad Lidge to get the save. The first batter he would face, Glaus, would greet him with a solo shot to left for his nineteenth home run of the year, to cut the lead down to 5-4. After getting Yadier Molina to fly out, the next three Cardinals would get on base with a single (Aaron Miles), a pinch hit single (Rick Ankiel) and a hit batter (Cesar Izturis) to load the bases, with Joel Pineiro pinch running for Ankiel. But Lidge would then buckle down and strike out Stavinoha and Mather to end the game as he records his twenty-eighth save.
Brett Myers would get a no-decision as he pitches his second straight quality start as he goes six innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits. Chad Durbin would get the win as he pitch an inning plus a batter, as he gives up an earned run on two hits. His record is now 4-2 with a ERA of 1.77. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hit and a hit batter. Ryan Madson would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits and a walk. Brad Lidge would record his twenty-eighth save in as many tries, as he gives up an earned run on three hits and a hit batter, while striking out two. Todd Wellemeyer would also get a no-decision, as he goes six innings plus a batter, giving up an earned run on four hits. Ron Villone would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Kyle McClellan would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit. Jaime Garcia would receive the lost, as he goes a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit. His record is now 0-1 with a ERA of 4.00. Russ Springer would commit his second blown save, as he goes a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Ryan Franklin would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hit.
The Phillies’ offense is once again unable to unload on a Cardinals’ starter as Todd Wellemeyer would only give them four hits, although one would be a home run. But they would finally light up on the Cardinals’ weak bullpen, scoring four of their runs in an one inning outburst. In turn, their own bullpen would bend, but refused to break, when the Cardinals tried to regain the lead in the eight and win it in the ninth. It seems to me that it is now more important than ever that they get some help in the bullpen as long as Tom Gordon (who has just perform a minor league rehab stint) and Rudy Seanez (just placed on the DL) are both out. Yo, idiots, unloosen the purse strings, and get some help for the bullpen.
With tomorrow off, the Phillies (61-50) come back home to Philly with a two and a half games lead in the East as the Marlins lose to the Rockies. The Mets now trail by three games as they lost to the Astros. The Braves still trail by ten games as they defeated the Brewers. The Phillies, after coming home from a 5-1 road trip, will try to deliver an early one-two punch to the Marlins as the fish come in to Philadelphia for a three games series starting on Tuesday night.
The Phillies end their four game losing streak, thanks to a good pitching effort by J.A. Happ, and two solo home runs in the eighth inning from Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz as the Phillies defeat the Cardinals, 4-2. The game started out as a pitchers’ duel between Happ and Cardinals’ reliever Brad Thompson, who was pitching in relief of Mark Mulder, who had left the game in the first inning after hurting his elbow. This would end in the fifth, when, with one out and a runner on first, Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI triple, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. But Rollins would then be thrown out at the plate on a Shane Victorino fielder’s choice ground ball, shortstop Cesar Izturis to catcher Jason LaRue. Chase Utley would then hit a single, sending Victorino to second base. Ryan Howard would then follow with a single, scoring Victorino, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. In the seventh, as Happ stayed in the game to try and give the bullpen a rest, started the inning by getting Brendan Ryan to fly out for the first out. Itzuris would then get on base with a single. The next batter, Skip Schumaker, would follow with a ground-rule double, after Victorino tells the umpires that the ball had gotten stuck in the panneling, forcing Itzuris to go back to third. That would be it for Happ, as he is taken out of the ballgame by Charlie Manuel, to a standing ovation from the fans. Manuel replaces Happ with Chad Durbin. Durbin would walk Ryan Ludwick to load the bases. Albert Pujols would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Itzuris, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Troy Glaus would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Schumaker, making it two all, while Ludwick and Glaus would both move up a base on the throw to the place. After intenionally walking Rick Ankiel, Durbin would finally end the inning by striking out Joe Mather for the third out. In the eighth, Howard would give the lead back to the Phillies as he would hit his twenty-fifth home run of the year, tying Chase Utley for the major league lead in home runs, a solo shot off of Cardinals’ reliever Kyle McClellan, making it 3-2 Phillies. Three batters later, with two men out, and Chris Perez now pitching for the Cardinals, Pedro Feliz would hit a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the year, to make it 4-2 Phillies. In the ninth inning, Brad Lidge would be sent out to save the game, which he would do, in spite of a attempt to tie the game by the Cardinals, as he would strike out Ankiel with two men on and two outs, to record his twentieth save of the year in twenty tires.
J.A. Happ would pitch an excellent game, although only receiving a no-decision as he goes six and one-third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and striking out five. Chad Durbin would receive his second blown of the season, as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Clay Condrey would get the win as he pitches a scoreless, hitless inning as he strikes out the side. His record is now 2-1 with a ERA of 3.82. Brad Lidge would also go one inning, as he gives up no runs on no hits, walking two and striking out two. Mark Mulder would pitch only one third of an inning, walking two hitters and striking out one, before being taken out because of a bad elbow. Brad Thmpson would pitch four and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, getting a no-decision. Russ Springer would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Jason Isringhausen would pitch an inning, also giving up no runs or hits. Kyle McClellan would take the lost, pitching an inning plus one batter, while giving up only one earned run on one hit, Ryan Howard’s solo shot. His record is now 1-4 with a 2.74 ERA. Chris Perez would also pitch an inning, also giving up an earned run on one hit, Pedro Feliz’s solo home run.
J.A. Happ has obviously been taking advice from Jamie Moyer, otherwise how else do you explain how he well he was able to keep the redbirds off-balanced until the seventh inning. It’s too bad that Durbin was unable to shut down the Cardinals after being called in to relieve Happ, especially since the Phillies plan to send him back to Lehigh Valley after the All-Star break to bring back Brett Myers. I for one will not be looking forward to that if the youngster continues pitching like a stud. Anyone out there have an idea on how to persuade the powers that be that it would be better for the team to keep the kid in the bigs after this performance? Meanwhile, the Phillies’ offense is still not scoring runs, even if Ryan Howard has just broke a team record of the most RBIs knocked in by a team player before the All-Star break, breaking Greg Luzinski’s old record with his eightieth RBI of the year. The offense really needs to knock in runs with man in scoring positions. Seriously.
The three games series between the Phillies (49-43) and the Cardinals (51-41, 2nd National League Central) will conclude tomorrow afternoon with a Business Person’s Special. The game will start at 1:05 pm Eastern at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.12), who is coming off a good start against the Mets on July 5, getting a no-decision as he goes six and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 9-4 lost. He will once again be trying for his eighth victory of the year, while hoping to help the Phillies win their first series at home since the series against the Reds. Braden Looper (9-6, 4.15), who is coming off a lost against the Cubs on July 4, where he would go seven innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Cardinals’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying once again for his tenth win of the season, while trying to stop the Phillies’ batters.
The Phillies’ victory will keep their lead over both the Marlins and the Mets at a game and a half as they both won their game. The Braves trail the Phillies by six games, as they lost their game to the Dodgers. The Phillies hope to keep their lead over the rest of the Eastern division, while trying to win the last two series on their home stand.
The Phillies (40-28) will be visiting the Cardinals (40-28, 2nd National League Central) for the first time this season as they begin a three games series with the former World Series Champs. The first game of their series will begin tonight at 8:15 pm Eastern (7:15 pm Central) at the new Busch Stadium. The Phillies will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (5-2, 4.87), who is coming off of a recent no-decision against the Braves on June 7, where he went only five and one third innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. Before that, he had won his last two starts, going for a combined total of twelve and two-thirds innings, giving up six earned runs on twelve hits. Lifetime, he is 2-0 against the redbirds, with both victories coming last year. Kendrick will be trying to improve his season record and lower his ERA, while trying to set the tone for the series between the two old rivals. The Cardinals’ starter will be Todd Wellemeyer (7-1, 2.93), who is coming off of a victory over the Nationals on June 5, where he would go six scoreless innings, giving up only five scattered hits, in the Cardinals’ 4-1 win. He has won five of his last seven starts, with the other two starts being no-decisions. He will be planning to get his eighth win of the season, after missing a start because of an inflamed right elbow, while trying to help his team keep place with the red hot Chicago Cubs.
The Phillies will continue their road trip with the series in St. Louis, with a 4-2 record. Although the offense has not scored as many runs as they did at least two weeks ago, it is still a potent threat, and the bats can errupt once again at any time. The starters are still improving, but they need to stop giving up home runs, since it was because of gopher balls given up by Brett Myers, Cole Hamels and Tom Gordon in the first two games against the Marlins that they lost the series, as that was how the fish was able to knock in all of their runs in the series, otherwise the Marlins’ offense didn’t appear to have been very effective. Except for the grand slam that Gordon gave up in the second game of the recent Marlins series, the relief corps is still the league’s best. The Phillies will be going into St. Louis trying to win the series from the Cardinals, especially with the absent of their main star Albert Pujols. They will be trying to end their three cities road trip with a winning record.
The first place Phillies are leading the Marlins by three games, as the fish prepare to meet the American League Tampa Bay Rays for a three games series in Tampa Bay. The third and fourth place Braves and Mets are both trailing the Phillies by seven and a half games. The Braves will be playing a three games series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Anaheim, while the Mets will be hosting the Texas Rangers for a weekend series. The Phillies are hoping that those three American League teams will help them by defeating their divisional rivals. After their series in St. Louis, the Phillies will be coming back home to Philadelphia to play a three games series with the World Champions Boston Red Sox.
Originally posted on January 31, 2008 and is edited version of a long post with mostly non-Phillies elements:
Well Spring is almost here, and that means the Phillies will be back in Florida. And this year, they’ll be defending a pennant, the National League East to be precise. Although I know that the Phils have made some changes in their personnel over the winter, I’m not as confident that they’ll win again as I was last year. Why? Because of the silent partners who own the team. I mean, come on you idiots. You’d already lost Aaron Rowand, via free agency, because you’re a bunch of cheap skates, and now you may let Ryan Howard, your present main man, go to arbitration, instead of just signing him to new contract. Will someone in the name of sanity please tell me what is going through you morons’ minds? Are you guys so dumb that you think that Ryan might be willing to take less money because of this stunt, and might not in the long run take this as a personal insult and in the future decide not to take his changes on the free agent market to see what other folks may think he might actually be worth. Also, do you guys honestly think you’ll win in arbitration? (Basing on your track record, I would wonder about that.) If you do, sorry but I think the arbitrator is going to be on Ryan side in this and give him what he think that someone of his present stature is worth compared to other first basemen presently in the Majors. (Paging Albert Pujols, paging Albert Pujols, collect your next few millions please.) Guys, do yourselves a favor, just take the bullet, bite on it now and settle with Ryan with a price that’ll be fair to both of you. It’s call compromising. You’ll be glad you did since you’ll more than likely will end up with a very loyal employee. And a few more pennants and a lot of fans coming to the park in the future. Do it sometime, and do it soon!