MVP hopeful Chase Utley is hitless in his last 20 at bats, the longest drought of his career. In my educated opinion as a former Little League second baseman, I’d say Utz was out of gas.
Yesterday on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon finished the show by asking "What's up with Chase Utley?" Neither had the answer as time expired, but one second was all they needed. “He needs a rest,” would have been the correct answer. Utley, who plays with unparalleled intensity, has been strung out for too long. It’s a forgivable offense by manager Charlie Manuel. It can’t be easy to sit the best hitter in the lineup, the cornerstone of the offense, the guy who’s been tremendous until a week ago.
It’s tough enough to be an everyday player, to stay out of funks, to hide your holes. Guys like Chris Coste can’t do it. Greg Dobbs can’t do it. It’s hard to stay on top when the rest of the league is gunning for you. And physically, who takes a bigger beating than Chase? No one. So what can we make of this five-game slide? Nothing. They're lucky it's only five. Preventative maintenance – otherwise known as Eric Bruntlett – isn’t a bad idea now and then.