Howard had a ‘sick feeling’ last October

First baseman tosses the ball during drills on Feb. 17. He's looking to erase the "sick feeling" in his stomach after being called out on strikes to end the Phillies season in the NLCS (Photo courtesy of The Zo Zone).

The count was full to Ryan Howard. He had runners on first and second with two outs and the Phillies trailed the Giants, 3-2, in Game 6 of the NLCS.

Brian Wilson’s slider crossed the plate. Howard’s bat never flinched. Home plate umpire Todd Hallian pulled the trigger, sending the Giants to the World Series.

Howard just stood there as he half-argued the call, knowing he should have swung at anything close.

“I guess when you make the last out you probably would be pretty disappointed,” Howard told reporters yesterday. “It took me a little while to let it go. I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I was really excited and raring to go to get back here this year to get started.”

Howard doesn’t watch tape. He doesn’t care to. He wouldn’t even tell the reporters if he thought it was still a ball or not.

Howard also told reporters he didn’t work with Barry Bonds like he did last offseason, instead “layed low for the most part. I was up in Philly for a while. Just pretty much between Philly and here, and St. Louis for the holidays.”

Howard also spoke about his ankle, which he said was a “98 percent.

“Ankle is good. Ankle is really good,” Howard said. “I’m pretty much like 98 percent. There’s a little bit of tightness, a lit bit of soreness every once in a while. But it’s good to go…

“I’m doing everything (I normally do). My offseason training, I was able to do everything. Everything is pretty much good with my ankle. It’s probably just a little bit of tightness here and there.”

You can read the highlights of the press conference yesterday on Todd Zolecki’s blog. Howard also talked about Albert Pujols, his swing, his fielding and the offense.

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