Top of the eigth.
Chase Utley stands in against Randy Flores with his streak of 33 games of consecutive safe hitting on the line. Utley cracked a bouncing dribbler to the 3rd base side of the mound which was fielded by pitcher Randy Flores. His momentum from fielding the ball threw him toward third base where he considered making the second out of the inning. Quickly he changed course. Flores threw wide of first stretching Albert Pujols off the bag. Utley’s hit : a fielder’s choice.
A Fielder’s Choice?
Since Flores never actually committed to getting Victorino out by attempting to make a play at third a fielder’s choice was obviously a bad call by the official scorer. I was irate after the play and went to check the official ruling for a ‘fielder’s choice’ in MLB’s official rules. I keep it handy in case situations come about.
As quickly as I went to check the rules, the scorer had change the FC to a 1B. 34 games and counting.
We are all caught up in this hitting streak , but why? What is the significance of being able to hit safley on base every game you play? Is it a showcase of skill? Or calm and the ability to perform under pressure?
These are qualities that we do not just find admirable in a baseball player but also in a good human being. Since Chase Utley has been a player we all have been rooting for since his call up in 2003 we have all always known what kind of player we would hope him to be.
It had me thinking. What are some of the more memorable hitting streaks in all of baseball?
May 15th – July 16th, 1941
Considered one of baseball’s unbeatable marks, Joltin’ Joe hit .408 over the span of 2 months while also collecting 15 homeruns and 55 RBIs. In the midst of "The Streak" Joe endured an early slump by the team in the standings trailing Ted Williams and the Red Sox. With the streak as a catalyst for offense the Yankees eventually overcame the Red Sox and beat the Chicago White Sox for the 1941 A.L. pennant. DiMaggio would lead the Yankees to victory in the World Series in 5 games and be named the M.V.P.
June 16th – August 1st, 1978
Rose’s streak was the first serious threat to DiMaggio’s streak since Tommy Holmes hit safely 37 times during the 1945 season for the Milwaukee Braves. A month prior to starting the streak Rose recorded his 3,000th hit on May 5th. Rose compiled 66 hits during the span of his streak and endured 3 double headers.
August 23rd – October 2nd 2005 , April 5th – 6th 2006
36 Games Consecutive, 38 Sequential
Going into the 2006 season a debate raged through the baseball world wondering if Jimmy Rollins’ hitting streak from the previous year carried over to the next season? What if he beat Joe D.? The Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician for Major League Baseball said it would count only as a ‘lifetime’ streak, not consecutive.
The player who hit in the most games over a multi-season span was "Wee" Willie Keeler, who hit in 45 in 1896 and 1897.
Whatever anyone else wanted to call it, the fans of Philadelphia cheered Jimmy on through the first 2 games of the season until he flied out to centerfield in his final at-bat. Through the 36 games Jimmy raised his average from .261 to .290 as the Phillies fell 1 game short of the N.L. Wildcard.
August 25th – October 2nd, 1987
His 34-game hit streak is a National League record for Rookies and also for Major League catchers. The well traveled catcher had his finest season as a rookie batting .300 for the season and .346 over the span of the remainder of the season.