He put the eighth inning pitch into the right field seats to break up a 2-2 tie. Howard also knocked home the Phillies first run of the game.
Howard doubled off former Phillie Randy Wolf in his return to Philadelphia. Wolf left the Phillies after the 2006 to head to his home state California.
Wolf pitched well against the Phillies potent lineup. He worked his fastball all game, finishing off seven Phillies for strikeouts using his deceptively good fastball. Wolf left the game after six innings allowing only two runs and striking out nine.
His counterpart Adam Eaton who started his career with San Diego, pitched just as well. Eaton started off shaky as five of the seven batters that reached based against him were in the first three innings.
The righty looked like his old self early in the game. He couldn't find the strike zone and when he did it was up in the zone.
Tadahito Iguchi looped a pitch up in the strike zone for a base hit. Adrian Gonzalez followed with a home run on another pitch up in the strike zone.
Despite his first inning blip, it seems like Eaton is finally getting the concept of high pitcher in Citizen's Bank Ballpark equals lots of home runs. He's only allowed three home runs in six starts this year as opposed to 30 in 30 starts last year.
Besides Eaton pitching phenomenally, the bullpen went three no hit innings to secure the Phillies win after Howard's homer.
Flash Gordon already has five decisions after he picked up the win to move to 3-2 on the season.
Adam Eaton has six starts and still no decision.
Brad Lidge threw the perfect ninth for the save.
Part of the reason the bullpen has been so good is because they aren't overworked. The Phillies starting pitching has gone six innings consistently. The bullpen has routinely only had to throw two or three innings a game which helps a lot.
It looked like Adam Eaton was going to make the pen work early because he had around 80 pitchers through four innings. Entering the fifth it looked like he was going to finish that inning around 95 and probably would have been done for the night.
Instead he went one-two-three and could give the Phillies a sixth inning.
I'll leave you with what my good friend Tony texted me after the game, "Phils are in 1st place!"