Halfway between first and second base as he began another home run trot, Ryan Howard's right arm shot into the air.

This one felt really good.

"He was due," manager Charlie Manuel understated.

Facing a left-handed reliever with two outs and one on in a one-run game at Citi Field, Howard launched an upper-deck homer that gave the Phillies a 3-2 victory over the Mets and maybe even extended the team's postseason chances for another night or two.