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Howard named NL Player of the Week

Howard named NL Player of the Week

As if the Phillies haven't already had enough to celebrate this week, first baseman Ryan Howard has been named Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week.

In helping his club to win one of the most exciting division races in baseball history, Howard led the National League with five home runs and 11 RBIs in the last week of the season.

The Phillies overtook the Mets on the last day of the season to win the NL East and punch their ticket to the playoffs. In the decisive game on Sunday, Howard went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.

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"A lot of people counted us out," Howard said. "That's why they call us the Fightin' Phillies. We're going to celebrate, the whole town of Philadelphia is going to celebrate, but we're going to come back on Wednesday ready to go."

Howard led the NL with a 1.095 slugging percentage and 23 total bases over the course of the week and helped the Phils to their first NL East title since 1993.

Howard struggled at the beginning of the season, but turned it on in the second half. He hit .381 on the week to raise his average to .268.

"I've just been trying to put good at-bats together," Howard said. "I wasn't able to do that at the beginning of the season. I've been feeling a little more comfortable, but I'm not there yet."

The late push helped Ryan to finish first in the NL in RBIs with 136 (the Rockies' Matt Holliday has a chance to surpass him in Monday night's tiebreaker game with the Padres), second in the NL in home runs with 47 and third in the NL in walks with 107.

Howard, who also won NL Player of the Week for the week ending July 22, will receive a Torneau luxury Swiss timepiece in recognition of the award.

Leslie Parker is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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