Ryan Howard is hitting .193 in September. But Houston Astros manager Tony DeFrancesco didn't need the stat sheet to tell him that Howard was struggling. All he had to do was look at Howard's swing.

That's why DeFrancesco ordered two intentional walks of Chase Utley in front of Howard on Sunday afternoon.

The first one worked as Howard grounded into a double play in the third inning. In the fifth, Howard made DeFrancesco pay for the second free pass on Utley when he stroked a first-pitch, two-run double to left. Though DeFrancesco's move backfired, it offered a commentary on the way Howard is going at the plate.