Phillies: Top five moments of Ryan Howard’s career

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PHILADELPHIA – OCTOBER 21: Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies is sprayed down with champagne by teammate Pedro Martinez #45 as they celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-4 to advance to the World Series in Game Five of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2009, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /

No. 2: 2009 NL Playoffs

After leading the NL with 48 home runs and 146 RBI in 2008, Howard nearly duplicated that during the 2009 season, hitting 45 home runs with a league-high 141 RBI. Heading into the playoffs, the Phillies were looking to get back to the World Series for the second straight season.

Howard showed clutch hitting during the 2009 playoffs. In the Phillies three games to one NLDS win over the Colorado Rockies, Howard went 6-for-16 with three doubles and six RBI, leading the team in both categories.

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The high point of the series for Howard came with two outs in the top of the ninth in Game 4. With the Phillies down 4-2 heading into the ninth, Howard told his teammates “just get me to the plate.” With Shane Victorino on second and Chase Utley at first, Howard doubled to right, scoring both Victorino and Utley, backing up his confident statement.

Howard then scored on a Jayson Werth single in the next at-bat, giving the Phillies a 5-4 lead they would not relinquish. Brad Lidge closed out the game and the series, winning three out of four against the Rockies.

Howard went on to have an excellent NLCS against the Dodgers, hitting .333 with two home runs and eight RBI. All told, Howard went 11-for-31 with two home runs and 14 RBI. Although he struggled in the World Series, hitting just .174, Howard’s efforts in the playoffs were a big reason the team went back to the World Series at all.