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Utley to Blame – Won’t Hear That Often

Philadelphia Phillies' Chase Utley looks down during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the National League Championship baseball series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday, Oct. 16, 2009, in Los Angeles. The Dodgers won 2-1. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)It’s tough to say this, but Chase Utley is to blame for the Game 2 loss to the Dodgers.  That’s not a statement often heard in these parts, however, it’s the truth.

Utley’s eighth inning error, on what looked to be a sure double play, cost the Phillies the game, and possibly, momentum. The blunder was his second of the series, evoking memories of another second baseman that couldn’t make the throw to his left, Chuck Knoblauch.  It isn’t quite at that level yet, but every errant throw is magnified a hundred times this time of year.

In that fateful inning, the Phils used five pitchers to get three outs, after Pedro Martinez breezed through seven.  Utley hasn’t been able to get the bat going either in this series, but let’s assume it will not stay that way.

Perhaps it’s fatigue, it could be an injury, or maybe it’s lack of concentration.  Whatever the case may be, Utley has to work on getting ball out of his glove cleaner.

Never in a million years would I have thought that Chase Utley would cost them a game with such an egregious mistake from the diamond.  It’s tough to pin the responsibility on one person, because the offense as a whole did very little against Vicente Padilla.  However, Utley’s costly mistake unfortunately shone brightly in a very winnable game.

Another guy who deserves some of the blame is Pedro Feliz.  He’s done zero with the bat and he too had a fielding blunder.  We tend to focus on him less though because he’s not the star of the team.

Everyone has a bad day, let’s hope we can chalk it up to that for Chase Utley.  Go get ’em in Game 3.

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