In this all too forgettable season, there is one man whose accomplishments we should remember.
In a season filled with disappointments, injuries and the demise of Charlie Manuel, there is one Phillie who has consistently risen above it all.
In a year where everything seemed to go wrong, there was one thing that seemed right as rain
After years of dealing with a debilitating knee injury that medical experts said would only get worse, the man born to play baseball was somehow re-born.
While many believed that he should hang up his cleats, that his best days were well behind him, the only one who was not ready to call it a career was ‘the man’ himself, Chase “you are the man” Utley.
After playing in only 83 games last season, last night was Chase’s 121st game played this year. That’s the most games Utley has played in a single season since 2009. And he’s not just playing, he’s performing.
He is currently batting .280. (If the season ended today that would also be his highest batting average since 2009 when he finished the season hitting 282.) But most encouraging might be that while in the past several seasons and even earlier in his career, Chase’s body seemed to break down towards the end of the season, this year even as the season wanes, Chase is still going strong.
Tuesday night Utley hit his second three-run home run in as many games and drove in four to help the Phillies and “Doc” beat the Miami Marlins.
Chase has 18 home runs, 66 RBI’s, 24 doubles and he leads the Phillies in triples with 6. And it is those triples that will be my enduring image of Chase from this season.
Watching him motor around second full throttle, the trademark Utley look of intensity on his face, followed by a hard slide into third was a sight I did not expect to see again once we learned the seriousness of Chase’s knee problems.
But since his mysterious rehab stint in Arizona, Utley at 34 looks more like the Utley of old than he has in years.
He has looked so impressive that the Phillies have already signed him to a 2-year extension.
So despite all that has gone wrong this dismal 2013 season for the Phillies, the return of Chase Utley is one thing to celebrate. And this fan, for one, will relish every chance I get to watch “the man” play the game he was born to play.