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Chase of Postseasons Past

Posted by Paul Boye, Fri, October 22, 2010 04:00 PM | Comments: 423
Analysis, Posts

To say Chase Utley is having a rough go of it this postseason would be, well, an understatement. After Thursday’s 1-for-4 in the Phillies’ pivotal Game 5 victory, Utley is hitting just .200/.286/.300 in the 2010 playoffs. His lone extra-base hit was a solo home run in Game 2 of the NLDS against Cincinnati, and all of this goes without mentioning Chase’s normally stellar defense has now taken a turn for the quaky. Suffice to say, Chase’s lack of production is concerning.

We’ll leave speculation as to any potential lingering health issues for those more expert in diagnosing such things, and instead look at what makes this 2010 postseason so different for Chase.


Respect once again to the crew at Baseball Analytics for their superb analytical tool and the production of these super spiffy graphics. But before we get to the eye candy, a straight-up look at Utley’s slash stats for the 2008, 2009 and 2010-to-date playoffs.

2008: 14 G, 64 PA, .220/.391/.460, 3 HR, 13 BB (1 IBB), 14 K
2009: 15 G, 66 PA, .296/.424/.648, 6 HR, 12 BB (1 IBB), 12 K
2010: 8 G, 35 PA,  .200/.286/.300, 1 HR, 3 BB (1 IBB), 4 K

Obviously, Chase is at a full series’ worth of games’ disadvantage on ’08 and ’09, and none of these is fully representative of The Man. But this goes beyond the numbers (which are still concerning, small sample and all), because something about Chase just seems off. Well, it does to me, at least.

The first red flag is Chase’s diminished slugging, sitting at a tidy, robust .300, piggybacking on the regular season, when Chase posted a .445 SLG, lowest since his rookie year. Let’s take a look at some of those pretty heat maps now, eh? These are Utley’s SLG on balls in play by pitch location in the postseason.

Top row: 2008, 2009
Bottom row: 2010

There are a couple of interesting things to note here. As 2008 and 2009′s maps show us, Chase cared very little for pitchers trying to paint the outside corner. From the outer third of the plate to the furthest extent of Utley’s balls in play, Chase slugged .560 and .938 in 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 2010, that number plummets to .188, reestablishing the outer edge of the plate as a zone of attack for opposing pitchers. Chase it still putting those outside pitches in play, but is barely inflicting any damage.

Another pattern evident in previous postseasons is Chase’s patience for the fastball. Chase drew 23 unintentional walks in the ’08 and ’09 playoffs, getting himself on base even when his balls in play didn’t fall, making himself effective in ’08 despite the .220 average. When Chase did get a pitch to hit – a fastball anywhere in the strike zone – he made pitchers pay. Utley’s SLG on fastballs in the zone in the last three sets of playoff series:

2008: .941
2009: 1.286
2010: .222

The Phillies have gotten this far by way of their pitching muscle and a few timely hits, but they’re going to need their franchise second baseman to step up if they want to keep playing.

Disclaimer: I am not advocating trading Chase Utley in any way, shape or form, as a notable radio host seems to advocate considering. That’s lunacy. Just dissecting a cold streak, that’s all. Also, photo of Chase via the AP.

Avatar of Paul Boye

About Paul Boye

Paul Boye has written 58 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    This team will win the the east next year by osmosis
    Probably best record in NL
    It all comes down to the Playoffs
    The errors and misplays was alarming.

    Really need to get the lineup younger. Meaing one of j roll or chase needs to be dealt while the value is still there. And Raul or Polanco need to go.One of the 2.

     
  • Posts: 0 Roseanne Barr

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer CITY !!!!! Raggedy Philadelphia !!!!!!! Country Northerners !!! HA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    The game day threads have been a blast folks, I’ll be around all offseason, but just want to say how much I enjoyed this season with all of you.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Remember being in third place and two games over .500 on July 21st.

    Remember the Ballad of Wilson Valdez.

    Remember Doc Halladay’s perfect game.

    Remember “Left Fielder ROY OSWALT!”

    Remember our torrid race over the West Coast and Coors Field.

    Remember September.

    Remember sweeping the Braves when it was needed.

    Remember our last Fan Appreciation Day of 2010.

    Remember clinching at Citizens Bank South.

    Remember sweeping the Reds and Doc Halladay’s no-hitter and striking Rolen out for the last out.

    Remember bringing it home.

    Remember 2010 with a crooked smile.

     
  • Posts: 0 Roseanne Barr

    David Seluth the Giant Phillistines !! David and Goliath baby !!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Changes will come, they would have win or lose. We will be a better team next year. And it doesn’t matter anyway because just like I have all my life, I’ll be with them through thick and thin.

    I don’t hate Pat Burell, I just can’t. Now Cody Ross, that’s another story.

    I wish Cole would have gotten his turn tomorrow.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    You too lefty.

    Gonna be a fun off season too. the phillies line up is getting to be liek the Yankees. They have 1 title since 2000 too.

    Things will get shaken up more than most people expect. Has to happen.

    @ Kate I love the reg season so much. The playoffs is too intense. Even when they win its more relief than joy lol
    Wish they would have won

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Howard may be in trouble as far as image.
    Getting to be like A roid.

    wheres Jeff?
    We have months now to talk about his contract LOL

     
  • Posts: 0 jeff

    For all you killing me about Howie. 56 postseason bats and 30 of them ended in a strikeout. 125 million dollar man. plus tonight he keeps the bat on his shoulder. this team is old and have traded all there pieces away. we all cried when lee got traded and now he is back in the world series. raul is done….werth gone…utley looks horrible. howard is horrible. rollins is finished. poly breaking down. bullpen is a mess. just bring in lefties and we lose. 2 runs in the first. sanchez got yanked. there bullpen destroyed us. thats why texas wins big. outside of the freak they will just pull there pitchers.

     
  • Posts: 0 Roseanne Barr

    Drinking Csystal Baby !! And it’s good too ! Want a sip ?!?

     
  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    Andrew, I am sure Polanco was bother quite a bit by that elbow. I am sure it affected his power. It is hard to measure how all the injuries affected Polanco, Rollins, Utley and Howard in this series. Clearly, Utley and Howard were not all the way back from theirs’.

    It is clear that something has to done to improve the hitting so they can overcome teams like the Giants who have good pitching.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    I am with you I think Jeff
    But try to be classy about it.

    They dont all got to go but some have to. D Brown has to play 150+
    Ad id like some more younger players.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    @ mikeB
    I love Polanco
    I am not even saying he shuold go. But this line up has to get younger.
    Looked old for stretches all year.

     
  • Posts: 0 jt

    the phils will need a righty bat no way we can rely on francisco and ibanez platooning and i don’t know about brown you guys think he’s major league ready?he needs to work on plate disipline…i really hope they surprise us and move ibanez and someone else and bring werth back i’m sure werth would do anything to come back to philly,but he wants to get paid which i respect he’s earned it…we need to get a better bench too gload did nothing and why did cholly not give sweeny a chance?did sweeney even have a post season ab?alot of shoulda coulda woulda but it’s over.

     
  • Posts: 0 BravoMan

    I told y’all Cody Ross would win the NLCS MVP. Sorry, I sound like Andrew bragging about predictions that come true.

    And now Andrew is saying his Phillies win walk through the East next year. He’s so confident, that Andrew. LOVE that guy!

     
  • Posts: 0 Kool and the Gang

    Celebrate good times, come on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 AC in NJ

    So Roseanne Barr, why don’t you give us your world series prediction then?

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Guess what jeff, if it makes you feel better, you won tonight!
    The rest of us wanted to win another championship, but you’re happier this way I guess, you got the last laugh. We lose, you win! Happy now?

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    I thought the Ruiz bunt was a very stupid move

    The Phillies are like the Yankees. Making it isnt in play.
    winning the WS is it. Are no moral victories.

     
  • Posts: 0 BravoMan

    The thing is, that Phillies Big 3 wasn’t so big in this series from my view. They were good, but not exactly dominant like I remember reading on here that they would be. Actually, it was a fact by some that they would be dominant and take the team all the way.

     
  • Posts: 0 Roseanne Barr

    @BravoMan yeah, the phillies are going to win 14 striaght divisions and win 1 world series like the braves !!! I’ll take that ! Let the cock SUCKER suffer !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha ! Ha ! Ha !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    @lefty dont lash out at jeff my friend LOL

    I dont think he was happy hes jsut how he is.

    I got time to volunteer for Lollar now at least

     
  • Posts: 0 AC in NJ

    Ibanez is the one guy who if they can trade him, do it. But I think they’ll have to eat a ton of salary to do so.

    Polanco is the best 3rd baseman we’ve had in years – he played with bone chips in the elbow all year and still was one of the leading hitters on the team. get the surgery in the offseason, he’ll be fine.

    Jroll and Utley have earned the right to have another go at things next year…hopefully they’ll stay healthy; Valdez is excellent insurance – keep him.

    I don’t think Brown is ready for full time yet, I’d really like Amaro to figure out some way to keep Werth.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    My face book status

    Whats 0 RBI in a 6 game series worth? about 125 million

     
  • Posts: 0 AC in NJ

    @Roseanne – so give us your World Series prediction, please?

     
  • Posts: 0 jt

    bravoman the hitting let the phils down moron didn’t you see oswalt in game 2?how about halladay pitching with an injury and still winning?the game we lost the pitching wasn’t bad the hitting was a big let down for me.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    I like jeff too, but I really want to know if he is happy now.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Now I’m even sicker for Sweeney. He doesn’t want to take his uniform off because he doesn’t know if he’ll be playing anywhere next year. He’s not sure if the other guys realize the magnitude of how special it is here in Philly and it’s tough.

    I haven’t cried yet, but that got me close.

     
  • Posts: 0 AC in NJ

    JT – excellent reply. Bravoman is just a bit slower, a bit behind…like his Braves.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Browns ready and he needs to go every day.
    HAS too

    Id love to keep Werth too.

    But the Rollins Utley and Howard and big 3 etc etc

    Make it impossible.
    Unless you deal one of them ( not Hlladay hamels or oswalt). Which I would like. Get younger and free up salary to pay werth.
    Who was the best player on the roster during the playoffs
    when it mattered most
    Free up money

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    I’m thinking they’ll be finding some way to platoon Brown with someone else unless pigs fly sometime in the off-season and Werth signs with the Phillies. Which is why they’d be reluctant to let go of Ibanez. Maybe they’ll think about platooning Ibanez with Francisco and then in 2012 if all goes well, Francisco takes over full-time. By then Brown should be ready (if not sooner) to take sole possession of right field.

     
  • Posts: 0 Roseanne Barr

    Giants in 5.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Giants: Enjoy yourselves. And then watch helplessly as the Rangers walk all over you.

     
  • Posts: 0 BravoMan

    jt, yeah, BUT…..all the talk about The Big 3 you’d have thought shutouts and flat out dominance would be in order against that “anemic” Giants offense. Moron.

     
  • Posts: 0 AC in NJ

    @Roseanne – thanks. You’re obviously smoking meth too right now. Or you’re just a total idiot, besides being a gasbag. Now go troll somewhere else.

     
  • Posts: 0 jeff

    happy lefty???? i sat upstairs in my room crying. thats how happy i was. i love this team. i root my a s s off for this team to win everynight. 162 games this season i rooted. playoffs. yes, i am not a howard fan. never was never will. i hated when they gave him all that money. took his hunger away. pitchers in baseball have learned how to pitch him. when utley walked i turned to my wife and said its over. i knew howard would come up small. he is not paid to hit singles, or doubles. to drive in runs. i do not plan to sleep tonight. i give the giants credit but they should of never beat us. we were the better team…by far.

     
  • Posts: 0 AC in NJ

    BravoMan – go roll some balls between your legs, a la Brooks Conrad. At least the Big 3 had plenty of dominance against your “anemic” braves. Your collapse of 7 games up wasn’t as quick as the Mets, but nonetheless, I’m sure you enjoyed watching the Phils fly past your team in 60 days, from 7 back to 6 up – 13 game swing.

    Braves will be lucky to win 86 games next year…

     
  • Posts: 0 Roseanne Barr

    Boy, they are really partying in the vistors lockeroom. Save some for me boys !

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Id be suprised id Fransisco is on this roster.

    Brown is handed every day player. Hed have to hit under.200 at the all star for him to not be out there every day.

    young guys can add something. Like Posey. Id like to see at least 1 of the 2b ss or 3b under 25 also

     
  • Posts: 0 BravoMan

    I’ve never seen such attention starved fans in all my life like the Philly fans. Torres pulls up hurt diving into 1st base and needed to take a few quick laps to see if he was good to go and the Philly fans boo in disgust because somebody is taking a few seconds of them and their teams attention. Just like a bunch of children when mommy spends a second with little Tommy.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    The phillies were not the better team. Or they would have won.

    Speaking of Meth

    They busted a meth lab in a dorm room at georgetown university today!
    I thought that school was upper echelon. I guess they needed money to pay the bloated tuition.

     
  • Posts: 0 Roseanne Barr

    @AC It hurt like Hell doesn’t it ?!? Like I said, the phillies could win 14 divisions and still have 1 world series win like the braves. That in itself is music to my ears !! Ce-le-brate good times, come on !!!

     
  • Posts: 0 BravoMan

    AC, or like Utley. He let some go through his legs and he’s a MLB EVERYDAY PLAYER, not a career minor leaguer forced into action because of injuries.

    The Braves will be very good next year and for years to come. We’re getting younger with Heyward, Prado, McCann, Freeman, Kimbrel, Venters, Hanson and the list goes on. The Phillies are getting old and fast.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Ok jeff, I understand. At least your honest, I like that.
    My best to you and your family I meant no harm.
    We’re all hurting right now.

     
  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    Some of the Philly fans, BravoMan, some of them, not all. What is true of the part is not true of the whole.

     
  • Posts: 0 AC in NJ

    Can Mike Sweeney become the pinch hitting specialist that Greg Dobbs was in 2008? I’d like to see some way of keeping him around…I think he’d take a very small salary just to stick around and get another shot.

     
  • Posts: 0 Roseanne Barr

    @BravoMan Couldn’t happen to a nicer city and moron country northern whiskey spitting FANS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 BravoMan

    One last thing….I told you Jonathan Sanchez was a little beeyatch. Utley did nothing wrong and the moron starts talking smack because he’s got a huge chip on his shoulder. I sided with Utley on that. Sanchez sucks anyways.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Was it a meth lab, sheesh/

    I have a daughter at Towson, she and I are going to have a talk.

     
  • Posts: 0 jeff

    no problem lefty. im sitting in here watching 50 first dates. trying to laugh but this s u c k s. are you in philly lefty?

     
 
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