Chase Utley quietly extended his impressive hitting streak out West and continues to represent one of the bright spots of an otherwise forgettable Phillies season.
The all-star second baseman is hitting .411 during the streak and .318 on the season. In addition, he's second in the league in runs scored with 77 of them.
Utley and the Phillies are back home against a red-hot Braves team in a series very few people are calling "do or die." Most have already pronounced them dead.
Atlanta has catapulted themselves back into the playoff hunt by winning eight of their last 10 game. After some earlier talk about the Braves becoming sellers, GM John Schuerholz became a buyer Wednesday when he dealt for Indians closer Bob Wickman.
Meanwhile, former closer and tonight's starter John Smoltz (7-5, 3.41 ERA) has been Atlanta’s best pitcher and has won his last three starts. Andruw Jones has led the charge with the bat. Jones is hitting .288 with 24 homers and leads the league with 88 RBIs.
The Phillies will counter with Cory Lidle (6-7, 5.02 ERA).