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Philadelphia Slugger Howard Named NLCS MVP
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Ryan Howard was named Most Valuable Player of the National League Championship Series, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to their second straight World Series as they try to repeat as champions.

Howard batted .333 with two home runs and eight RBIs in the five NLCS games. Though he didn't get a hit or an RBI in the Phils' clinching 10-4 victory, the big first baseman walked twice and scored on Jayson Werth's three-run homer in the first inning.

He had at least one RBI in eight straight playoff games in a streak that ended in Game 5. Howard tied the major league record first set by Lou Gehrig more than seven decades ago.

As a fan at Citizens Bank Park raised a sign that declared Howard "The New Mr. October," Howard promised the fans there was "one more step" for the Phillies to take.

That would be their second straight World Series. No NL team has won back-to-back World Series since the Cincinnati Reds of 1975-76. The Phils are the first team to reach consecutive World Series since the New York Yankees in 2000-01.

Now, Howard and the Phils wait for their next opponent. They'll go for their third World Series title beginning next Wednesday night at New York or Los Angeles. The Yankees lead the Angels 3-1 in the ALCS, which resumes Thursday night at Angel Stadium.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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