Not even the return of Chase Utley could save the Phillies tonight, as the team fell to the Pirates 11-7 behind a hapless effort from the bullpen–a unit which has been the Achilles heel all season.
CHASE RETURNS IN STYLE
-Two out, nobody on, 2-2 count. Chase Utley stands in the box for his first at-bat of the 2012 season. Moments before, he came to the plate to a loud ovation. James McDonald stares in for the sign. The battery mates agree on a curve ball. McDonald unleashes the hook, and it loops towards the plate. Off his shoulder, Utley’s bat moves effortlessly through the zone with the swiftness of a mongoose. Like a pendulum on its upswing, the barrel of the bat strikes the quickly dropping curve, launching it deep into the Philadelphia night. The ball would land on the other side of the right field fence, and the crowd would erupt in exultation. In one fell swoop, Utley had announced his return to the Phillies lineup. Screen writers dream of plots with this much electricity.
- Utley finished up the night going 3-for-5. His three hits included the homer and an infield single. He also put a two good charges into balls, lining both deep to center for outs. These were all encouraging signs. Utley showed power and speed, which suggests his legs feel just fine. At least for now.