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Clutch Cargo

Following up on Dave's piece from earlier, there's another offensive category in which the Phillies pace the National League, and it was on display again in last night's dramatic 6-5 win over Colorado: hitting with two out and men in scoring position.

As a team, the Phillies are .264/.388/.459 for an OPS of .847, easily the best in the NL ahead of the Braves (.834). Their 28 homers in that situation is also a league best, as is the team's .388 on-base percentage and their 178 hits (as well as their 673 at-bats--a tribute to the team's on-base ability in all circumstances). The .264 average is third in the NL, and the .459 slugging is second.

Though Pat Burrell was the hero last night, he's actually been one of the team's less stellar hitters in the two-out/RISP situation, with a .256 average and .824 OPS--not bad, to be sure, but below Burrell's overall numbers. The best? Defending MVP Ryan Howard, who is 24 for 70 (.343) with 25 walks (good for a .521 OBP), 10 home runs, and 42 RBI. Chase Utley (.388/.483/.612 in 49 AB), Greg Dobbs (.341/.453/.636, 44 AB), Jayson Werth (.379/.471/.517), and Aaron Rowand (.329/.446/.500) all have delivered in the highest-leverage spots.

Though Charlie Manuel's bullpen moves often still leave a lot to be desired, he and hitting coach Milt Thompson probably deserve some credit for the team's great performance at the plate when it matters most.