Chase Utley Returns With 0-5, But Phillies Bats ExplodeBREAKING NEWS, Infielders, News, Phillies Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
Robert Plant. Jimmy Page. John Bonham. John Paul Jones. Four men that make up the legendary rock group, Led Zeppelin. Their music has been missing in Citizens Bank Park; however, that changed tonight.
Chase Utley, coming out to a standing ovation and to the sound of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir playing throughout the stadium, stepped into the batter’s box, and with it, brought the excitement that we have all been waiting for but unable to bring out because of the absence of one of the team’s biggest stars.
The return of All-Star second baseman Chase Utley couldn’t have gone any better… at least from a team’s perspective.
Sure, Utley went 0-5 on the night, but he only struck out once — meaning that he put the ball in play.
But it was the effort from his teammates that wound up stealing the show tonight.
Cole Hamels threw six solid innings, allowing just three earned runs and striking out four in what ended up being his sixth win of the season. Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo and Danys Baez combined for three scoreless innings and three strikeouts, as well.
However, it was the bats that made this night so memorable.
There were 14 hits in all — three of those from Carlos Ruiz. Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, and Raul Ibanez combined for seven RBI’s, while John Mayberry Jr. and Hamels notched the other three RBI’s on the night.
So how much did Utley’s presence impact the team tonight?
Well, it’s impossible to determine that impact, but something clearly sparked this offense tonight — the same offense that struggled the past few weeks to put up any runs and find consistency with their bats.
If I was to take a guess on what sparked this offense, it would have to be the arrival of Utley — the lone variable that changed tonight, which implies that his presence in the lineup tonight made the difference.
Philly fans: How much of an impact does Utley have on this offense, and more importantly, the entire team as a whole?
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