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Ryan Howard's Second 36 Games

On May 9, I took a look at Ryan Howard's first 36 games of the season.  The start of the season, in which he hit .165/.285/.331, was clearly the worst 36-game performance of his career.

Since then, he's played in another 36 games, and there's not much to complain about anymore.  His second-36 game triple-slash numbers are .277/.360/.645 for a nice 1.005 OPS.  His .645 SLG is just a bit short of his MVP-year .659 SLG.  His eye could use a bit of improvement though, as his walk to strikeout ratio of 17:46 is significantly short of the ratios he's posted over the past two years (better than 1:2 each year).

His raw counting numbers have been very impressive.  Over the last 36 games, he has 13 home runs, 45 RBI, and 32 runs scored.  Translated to a full season, those numbers are monstrous:  59 home runs, 203 RBI, and 144 runs scored.  Of course, the last two numbers are largely because of the incredible lineup he's in, but there's no reason to think he'll have fewer RBI or run scoring opportunities as the season goes on.

With Howard performing as we expected, Rollins and Victorino healthy, and Burrell and Utley playing like MVPs, this lineup is back where it belongs.