Howard reaches 100-RBI mark again

Howard reaches 100-RBI mark again

LOS ANGELES -- Ryan Howard didn't want to look at the statistics. He was too wrapped up in how Monday's game ended, when he grounded to second.

"I've been rolling over on balls all night," he said. "I've been swinging terrible. It wasn't my day."

Terrible or not, Howard drove in runs with two of his five groundouts. Though it's not the way he wanted to get there, Howard reached the 100 RBIs milestone, giving him three straight seasons with at least 30 homers and triple-digit RBIs. He's the second player in franchise history to do that, joining Chuck Klein, who did it in 1929-32.

Mike Schmidt accomplished that feat nine times, but never in three straight.

Howard didn't whiff Monday, giving him three straight games without striking out for the first time this season, and his strikeout rate has declined slightly. Through July 7, Howard had struck out 124 times in 391 plate appearances but only 25 in his next 117 plate appearances.

Pitching matchup
PHI: LHP Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.35 ERA)
Hamels has gone six consecutive starts without earning a win, the longest winless drought of his career. In that span, Hamels has been hit hard at times, but also fallen victim to a lack of run support, such as his loss to the Marlins on Thursday afternoon. Hamels tossed 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs -- two earned -- as the Phils were shut out for the seventh time in 2008. During his past six starts, the 24-year-old is 0-3. Hamels never has faced the Dodgers.

LAD: LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.71 ERA)
In his past three starts, the 20-year-old Kershaw has gotten very good. He didn't quite match his back-to-back six scoreless innings of his previous two starts, but in his most recent start he might have been more impressive in limiting the Cardinals to one run over seven innings because their offense had scored 15 runs the two previous games. Kershaw never has faced the Phillies.

Right-hander Tom Gordon visited Dr. Lewis Yocum on Monday for a second opinion on his inflamed right elbow, and the team expects to have results on Tuesday. Gordon is comtemplating Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, and it's doubtful that he'll return to pitch this season. ... Mike Lieberthal, who retired after the 2007 season, visited his former Phillies teammates before Monday's game. ... The Dodgers have beaten the Phillies three straight times, beginning Aug. 22, 2007. ... Manny Ramirez has hit safely in nine of his 10 games with the Dodgers this season.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WPHT 1210, SBN 1480 (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Phillies (Joe Blanton, 6-12, 4.71) at Dodgers (Brad Penny, 6-9, 5.66), 10:10 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Phillies (Brett Myers, 5-9, 5.09) at Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda, 6-8, 4.02), 10:10 p.m. ET
• Friday: Phillies (Jamie Moyer, 10-7, 3.81) at Padres (Greg Maddux, 6-8, 4.12), 10:05 p.m. ET

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.