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09/25/09 12:23 PM ET

Powerful Howard in select company

Phillies slugger tied with Brewers' Fielder for RBI lead

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder both play first base, so it stands to reason a couple young and talented power-hitting first basemen occasionally chat at the bag.

"Do we Chuck Taylor over there?" Howard said.

Uh, Chuck Taylor?

"Converse," he replied.

Phillies at a glance
2009 record: 93-69
2008 record: 92-70
NL East champs
NLCS matchup:
Phillies at Dodgers
Postseason tix: Information

Madson: Back in business
Werth: Heart of the order
Rollins: Awaiting breakout
Focus: One game at a time
Manuel: Mix & match
Howard: Ready for lefties
Stairs: Shot reverberates
Manuel: New rules for 'pen
Blanton: Arm around team
Pedro: Return to spotlight
Ibanez: Eyes on prize
Rollins: '07 irrelevant
Lidge: Still an option
Lidge: Killer cutter
Roster: Mulling options
Ibanez: Perfect fit
Hamels: Path of the pros
Amaro: Bold decisions
Pedro: Elated to play part
Rollins: No more predictions
Hamels: Back in business
Pitching: Staff in flux
Manuel: Keeps 'em focused
Hamels: Aims for dominance
Lineup: Imperfect but solid
Lee: Ready for playoff debut
Howard: The evolution
Rollins: Excelling on defense
Rotation: Not just big two
Manuel: Steady as she goes
Rollins: Eyes on '09 drama
Howard: The 'Big Piece'
Lee: Lifting Phils' hopes

Yes, Howard and Fielder talk, but not necessarily about their race for the Major League RBI title. Howard and Fielder enter Friday's game at Miller Park tied for the big league lead with 132. Howard picked up two RBIs in Thursday's 9-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, while Fielder picked up one (with the help of a Howard error) to share the lead.

But while Howard inadvertently gave one back to Fielder, catcher Paul Bako took one away with a violent collision at the plate in the sixth inning, when Corey Hart tried to score on a Fielder double. Shane Victorino made a great throw to Chase Utley, who made a great throw to Bako, who held onto the ball as Hart speared him in his left shoulder.

"Bring that up to Howie, please," Bako joked. "And if he wins by one, make sure he knows."

He knows.

"It was a big play by Bak," Howard said.

It has been just another season of big numbers for Howard. He is hitting .271 with 42 home runs and 132 RBIs. It is his fourth consecutive season with 40 home runs and 130 RBIs. Only Babe Ruth (seven years, 1926-32), Ken Griffey Jr. (four years, 1996-99) and Sammy Sosa (four years, 1998-2001) have accomplished the feat. Howard and Sosa hold the National League record with four consecutive 130-RBI seasons.

"That's cool," Howard said. "That's good company to be a part of. That's doing something. It's a pleasure to be a part of that."

And Howard, who is hitting .302 with 16 homers and 53 RBIs in 45 games since Aug. 7, still has 10 games to play.

"I'm still trying to get things going," Howard said. "You'll have good and bad days. Sometimes you'll get two or three hits. Sometimes you'll get one. I'm just trying to make them count right now, you know?"

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.