Howard's slide-step hurting the Phillies

Updated: November 2, 2009, 11:28 AM ET
By Buster Olney
The great thing about the postseason, an evaluator noted the other day, is that you always find out what the real weaknesses of hitters are (or at least what they are perceived to be). Because the pitchers and the catchers won't mess around. They will just keep throwing the same pitch in the same spot until you demonstrate that you can hit that pitch.

The Dodgers pounded Matt Holliday with inside fastballs. Nick Swisher is seeing a ton of breaking balls. Shane Victorino is being pitched inside. And Ryan Howard is seeing a ton of sliders.

Before the World Series began, 23.4 percent of the pitches thrown to Howard during the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs were sliders. Well, in the World Series, he has seen as many as eight consecutive breaking pitches -- curves, as well as sliders. Of the 69 pitches thrown to Howard in this World Series, 25 have been sliders, and he is 0-for-5 when he puts them in play.