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Chase Utley

SPORTS
April 28, 2015 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Is the Big Piece a Big Tease? Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard has been written off more than a billionaire's tax exemptions. And while nobody is claiming he will ever recapture his MVP form, Howard is known to go on a brief tear that shows there may be something left. After the roughest of starts this season, the 35-year-old first baseman is slowly starting to come around. Howard hit a three-run homer in the first inning Sunday and then had nothing to show for three hard-hit outs in a 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
SPORTS
April 26, 2015 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
As transitions go, this was somewhat of a significant moment for the Phillies. It was not as if we did not know that the second really-good-but-not-great era in franchise history was over. The previous two seasons, the first road trip this season, and all those empty blue seats at Citizens Bank Park provided ample evidence that it was, and has been, for a while. It is notable, however that for the first time since the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, they sent out a lineup, for Thursday's series finale against the Miami Marlins, without a player from that championship team.
SPORTS
April 25, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The smallest crowd in Citizens Bank Park's 12-year history witnessed the Phillies drop their fourth series in five tries. A day after they "didn't do too much right," in the words of Ryne Sandberg, the second-year manager could have just as easily said the same about Thursday's matinee. The Phillies committed two more fielding errors in a 9-1 loss to the Miami Marlins, giving them a major-league-worst 17 through just 16 games. Only three of their eight hits came before the eighth inning.
SPORTS
April 24, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
FIRST, the good news. Cole Hamels did not allow a home run and Chase Utley ended his weeklong drought without a hit last night against the Miami Marlins. Hamels had entered the night leading the major leagues with seven home runs allowed through three starts, already halfway to his 2014 total. Utley was flirting with breaking whatever they call the line that is 100 points lower than the Mendoza line - the Michael Martinez line? Utley got his hit out of the way early and Hamels labored through six innings, but pitched well enough to put the Phillies in position to collect their third win in their last four games.
SPORTS
April 24, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Luis Garcia flinched just enough for the umpire to rule that the Phillies reliever had balked. Miami's Adeiny Hechavarria trotted home and the Marlins recaptured the lead. Garcia's miscue in the seventh inning of a loss at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night marked the first run the reliable righthander had surrendered in 14 innings since September. It also came to mark the first of five straight runs the Marlins tacked on after Phillies mistakes over the seventh and eighth innings.
SPORTS
April 24, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
GIANCARLO STANTON briefly lifted his front left foot, turned on a 3-2 offering from Justin De Fratus, and sent a ball into the open real estate beyond the leftfield fence at Citizens Bank Park in record time. Well, not officially. But the line-drive home run, Stanton's sixth in his last 15 games at the South Philly homer haven, traveled faster than fans to the parking lot yesterday afternoon, when the Phillies put forth their second sloppy game in less than 24 hours. Stanton's two-run home run was the finishing touch in a deflating, 9-1 defeat for the Phillies in front of a ballpark record-low crowd of 17,097.
SPORTS
April 24, 2015 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Sports Columnist
ZIP THAT North Face up over your chin. Roll your hands halfway up your sleeves. Close your eyes and . . . Dream, baby, dream. The game-time temperature of yesterday's Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park was announced at 49 degrees. This was actually 2 degrees warmer than at the start of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series, but there were 45,940 people in the stands that night. Human body heat - and the anticipation of a world championship - can numb you up real good. So can runs and big hits and key pitches.
SPORTS
April 24, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
There has been no temptation, manager Ryne Sandberg said, to drop Chase Utley in the Phillies lineup. Despite his early-season struggles - the 36-year-old second baseman ended an 0-for-21 slump Wednesday with a hit in his first at-bat - Utley has batted third in each of his 13 starts this season. "I can count maybe, I don't know, 10 or 12 balls that he's hit right on the nose since opening day," Sandberg said before Wednesday's game. "That's a good sign even though he has nothing to show for it. But then again, for me, he's always a threat every time he walks up to home plate.
SPORTS
April 24, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CHASE UTLEY stepped into the batter's box in the first inning of last night's game looking for his first hit in over a week. He still stepped up to the plate in his traditional third spot in the Phillies' batting order, because manager Ryne Sandberg has been pleased with Utley's approach, despite his ugly numbers through the first two weeks of the season. Utley entered the day hitting .109 (5-for-46). Among the 193 qualifying major league hitters, only Houston's Chris Carter (.089)
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