Ryan Howard belted a go-ahead, two-run home run in the eighth inning to complete a 8-7 rally over the Braves, moving the Phillies back in front of the National League East following the Mets' shutout loss.
No hit has made more noise this season. No at bat has been better. If the Phillies can run with the lead they’ve just reclaimed, Howard will become more than just an emerging MVP candidate. In a game that featured Gregor Blanco batting in the 9th inning with the bases loaded and two outs against a dangerously erratic Brad Lidge, each team leaving 10 men on base, a three-for-four night from Jayson Werth, including his 23rd home run, an 0-for-5 night from Pat Burrell, with five, jack-squat strikeouts, and Ryan Madson mastering his most important assignment in ages, No. 6 transcended it all. Right now, Howard is the best.
In other hip-hip hurray finals, the Nationals blanked the Mets 1-0, the Cubs beat the Brewers 4-3 and it was the Marlins over the Astros 5-1.