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Phillies Continue to Hammer Opponents

Scott EisenlohrAnalyst ISeptember 19, 2009

CHICAGO - AUGUST 12: Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a triple in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs on August 12, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Phillies defeated the Cubs 12-5. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Phillies had a tenuous 5-3 lead heading into the ninth inning of last night's game against the Atlanta Braves.

Brad Lidge was warming up in the bullpen.

These days, any lead less than three runs is case for concern for any Phillies fans.

Then it happened. The Phillies bats exploded to help the Phillies to a 9-4 win.

Ryan Howard, shown above, staked the Phillies to a 3-1 lead with his 39th and 40th home runs, respectively.

While Jason Werth's two-run hit extended the Phillies to a 5-1 lead in the top of the eighth, but Brian McCann's two-run home run cut the lead to two.

Jimmy Rollins connected for his 19th home run of the year with two on and one out in the top of the ninth. Ben Francisco followed with a solo shot to put the Phillies up 9-3.

Lidge sat down and Chad Durbin got up. Durbin let in a ninth inning run in a non-save situation and the Phillies reduced their magic number to eight games.

Whew.

With this win, what jumps out at me?

The Phillies' awesome power. It is freakin' amazing.

Last year, the Phillies led the league with 214 home runs.

In 146 games this year, the Phillies have hit 209 home runs. Colorado, in 148 games, is second with 174 home runs.

No one else in the National League is even close.

Last week, the Phillies became the 12th club in Major League history to have four players with 30 home runs.

A week later, Ryan Howard leads the way with 40 home runs. The incredible Jayson Werth has 34 home runs, while both Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley have 31 home runs.

Ryan Howard has 121 RBI and Jayson Werth and Chase Utley both have 90 RBI. Ibanez has 86 RBI.

Incredible numbers.

Where does it end?

The Phillies could possibly wrap up the division by next weekend, but they have a large task at hand.

That is getting Brad Lidge right.

If they can't do that, Phillies fans have to live with Ryan Madson as the closer in the playoffs.

But let me ask you this: With a one-run lead in the ninth inning, right now, who do you want to close the game?

I thought so. Me, too.

Hopefully, there will be more homer happy games where it won't be an issue.

What a fun season.

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