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Chase Utley

SPORTS
September 8, 2014 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Columnist
Poignant isn't a word used often when discussing Larry Bowa. But it fit perfectly the little moment that the TV cameras captured Wednesday night in Atlanta. Debuting Phillies rookie Maikel Franco had just collected his first big-league RBI. Bowa was among those awaiting his return to the Phillies' Turner Field dugout. As he congratulated the 22-year-old September call-up, something like a pensive smile fleetingly pushed aside the wizened bench coach's perpetual smirk.
SPORTS
September 8, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - All of a sudden, the Phillies and Washington Nationals appear as though they have reversed roles. The Phillies are playing like a team gearing up for the postseason, while the Nationals, at least against the Phillies, haven't resembled the team that began Saturday with the National League's best record. A.J. Burnett allowed just one run in seven innings, as the Phillies beat the Nationals, 3-1, at Nationals Park. The Phillies have won 12 of their last 17 games. With Burnett's win, they clinched the season series against the Nationals for the first time since 2010.
SPORTS
September 8, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - While the Phillies plot their offseason strategy, one question will be how far into the future Chase Utley can be counted on to be a valuable contributor. It's a difficult question to answer, made more complicated by Utley's surprising durability this season at the age of 35. He's already a franchise icon, one of the most respected athletes to ever play in Philadelphia. While his knee problems have been well documented, Utley made one trip to the disabled list last year, and that was for an oblique injury.
SPORTS
September 5, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - The conversation on the mound Wednesday lasted longer than usual. Ryne Sandberg asked Phillies catcher Wil Nieves about his strategy with Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. "Stay back," Nieves said. "He was rushing. " Sandberg nodded, said something that Nieves translated to the Cuban righthander, and then patted Gonzalez on the back. A 7-4 loss to the Braves deviated from the Phillies' recent brand of sterling baseball. But the wins and losses mean little now; this is a time to gain insight on the possible pieces for next season.
SPORTS
September 1, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - For the 16th time this season, Ryne Sandberg assembled a lineup designed last winter to keep the Phillies competitive. No team in baseball has employed the same batting order as many times as Sandberg's familiar combination. That unit, after a 7-2 singles-fueled win over the Mets on Saturday, is 5-11. "You look at our lineup on paper, and it's a great lineup," outfielder Marlon Byrd said. "For some reason, some years it just doesn't click. You get two guys hitting and the rest aren't hitting, or you get the rest of the guys hot and it's split up too much in the lineup.
SPORTS
August 22, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
AS THE Philadelphia region prepared itself for the main event of the day's sporting schedule, a Little League game played out during a long inning at Citizens Bank Park on yesterday afternoon. And not of the high-caliber kind that's being played this week in Williamsport. More of the endless, error-filled brand of ball found at your local recreation league fields each weekend in the spring. The fourth inning of a matinee between the Phillies and Seattle Mariners featured a wild pitch, a passed ball, two errors, Cole Hamels' pitch count nearing 90, and one baserunner caught between third and home when his teammate missed a bunt sign.
SPORTS
August 21, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Seattle Mariners righthander Hisashi Iwakuma is an example of a pitcher who prospers by grudgingly giving out free passes. He entered the game against the Phillies Tuesday night leading baseball in fewest walks per nine innings with 0.777. His counterpart, Phillies righthander A.J. Burnett, took the mound leading MLB with 72 walks, an average of nearly four per nine innings. Although Burnett, 37, turned in a solid performance before running out of gas in the eighth inning, he couldn't keep pace with Iwakuma.
SPORTS
August 18, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - Kyle Kendrick's cutter jammed Pablo Sandoval in the sixth inning, and the ball hovered over the infield Saturday at AT&T Park. The Phillies converged for a tableau of the franchise's current disrepair. "You got it," Chase Utley yelled at Ryan Howard. The first baseman heard, "Got it," and assumed Utley would catch it. The ball plopped on the grass between them. Utley, who had time to set and throw to second for an out, instead rushed one of his trademark backhanded flips from 50 feet.
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.
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