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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Utley Effect?

Chase Utley makes his season debut and the Phillies score 10 runs in a win.

They scored 10 runs in the week of games. That’s 10 total runs in seven games.

Have the bats come alive now that “the man” is back? Is this just a coincidence? Better pitches for others in the lineup? Wishful thinking that it means anything?

The last option is probably the most reasonable thought for now. After all, Utley did go 0-5 despite at least one solid drive.

But I would give some credence to the thought that everybody else was perked up by Utley’s presence in the lineup. And Placido Polanco hitting just his fourth home run of the season in the first inning batting right after Utley . . . call that a coincidence if you want, but I can’t ignore the likelihood that he was seeing better pitches batting in-between Utley and Ryan Howard.

Regardless of how you explain it, watching the Phillies with Chase Utley in the lineup for the first time was a lot more fun than it was during the rest of this season so far.

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