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Chase Utley

SPORTS
August 13, 2014 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
ONE OF THE more murky aspects of the Phillies' strategy over the last 3 weeks has been their deployment of Darin Ruf. After the club summoned him from the minors on July 22 to replace an injured John Mayberry Jr., the 27-year-old first baseman started three straight games, going 2-for-8 with a double, a walk and three strikeouts. But in the 16 games since, Ruf has started just four times, including yesterday's 5-3 loss Mets, when his two-run homer to straightaway centerfield gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.
SPORTS
August 12, 2014 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
ALL DAY, Ryan Howard was on the ball. In the fourth inning, he hit a long line drive that Curtis Granderson snagged in front of the wall in rightfield. In the sixth inning, he barreled a pitch that petered out on the warning track in left, prompting him to hold his head in his hands as he crossed first base and veered back toward the dugout. So when the Mets elected to walk Chase Utley to get to Howard with the winning run on second base in the bottom of the ninth inning, the slugger was ready.
SPORTS
August 12, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The decision, Ryan Howard said, appeared simple to him. But Chase Utley later admitted surprise - a "little bit," he said - that the New York Mets called for an intentional walk with two strikes. Utley stood a double short of the cycle in Sunday's game at Citizens Bank Park. Howard was 0 for 4 with some hard-hit outs. For the second time in less than a week, Howard delivered a game-winning hit after the opposition chose to face him. The Phillies overcame a five-run deficit that culminated in a 7-6 win on Howard's ninth-inning single.
SPORTS
August 8, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ONE PITCHER went around the clubhouse for a healthy heaping of handshakes and hugs. Jonathan Papelbon asked if he could tag along to join a first-place team. Another was still in Toledo, Ohio, around lunchtime before hearing he was wanted on the mound in South Philly that night. Roberto Hernandez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday afternoon, in exchange for two minor league players to be named later. Since Hernandez was scheduled to start last night against the Astros, Sean O'Sullivan had to figure out a way to get from Toledo to Citizens Bank Park in a few short hours.
SPORTS
August 7, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
In the span of two weeks, Ryan Howard has gone from banished to the bench for a series worth of games to a near-permanent place in the middle of the struggling Phillies lineup. Entering play on Tuesday, the Phils had not scored a run since Friday. Manager Ryne Sandberg didn't do any tinkering, however, keeping Howard, mired in an 0-for-14 skid, and Chase Utley, in the midst of an 0-for-16 slump, in their usual spots in the lineup. It's at least somewhat surprising that Sandberg, who sat a slumping Howard on the last homestand, hasn't moved the first baseman out of the fourth spot in the order.
SPORTS
August 7, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The baseball disappeared into a flower box above the 374-foot marker in left-center field, a landing spot that delayed an entire stadium's reaction. The fan held his souvenir, a Ryan Howard homer bashed against a lefthanded pitcher, which prompted the meager crowd at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night to rise in melancholic unison. This second-inning moment dripped with apathy, even a tinge of sadness. The electronic Liberty Bell replica did not ring until Howard neared third base in the first inning of a 2-1 win over Houston in 15 innings.
SPORTS
August 1, 2014 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Staff Writer
SO THIS IS how it ends. With a whimper, not a bang. All summer long, and really, late in the spring, today was the day that it all could restart for the Phillies. They would trade that core they held onto for too long, pay off chunks of those big salaries Ruben Amaro Jr. awarded to the aging, homegrown guys and the long-in-tooth veterans he collected and valued like an antiques collector collects and values old lamps. And the refurbishing project long anticipated and long delayed would begin in earnest.
SPORTS
July 31, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
NEW YORK - Cole Hamels owns a TV. Even if he did not, there are several in every major league clubhouse he walks into everyday. And those TVs are almost always tuned into a sports channel broadcasting baseball games and baseball chatter. With less than 48 hours before major league baseball's nonwaiver trade deadline, Hamels took the mound at Citi Field knowing his name had been talked about more than a couple times in the last day. It's safe to say he has been unaffected by it. Hamels hurled eight shutout innings, striking out eight while walking no one, in a 6-0 win over the Mets last night.
SPORTS
July 28, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
After a low, growling storm rolled through South Philly on Wednesday evening, bringing a temporary halt to the game between the Phillies and Giants, the end of the rain delay and the resumption of play was punctuated but not affected by several nearby lightning strikes and the loudest thunder of the night - not to mention most of the rain. That didn't impress the umpiring crew enough to signal for another delay, however - getting the Phillies' season into the books as quickly as possible is everyone's desire at this point - but it did provide a couple of handy metaphors for what has taken place in Citizens Bank Park and elsewhere this year.
SPORTS
July 26, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The 90th strike fired by Cole Hamels was an 85-m.p.h. change-up that darted to a precise spot, low and away from Michael Morse. The San Francisco outfielder flailed at Hamels' signature offering. Hamels, who has the innate skill every fifth day to temporarily suspend the frustration of a $190 million payroll, walked with purpose to the dugout. His start, a 2-1 Phillies win Thursday at Citizens Bank Park, concluded with eight masterful innings. Hamels has expressed his dismay with this underachieving roster but casts himself as a helpless participant.
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