Chase Utley will get his first day off since returning from a seven-week layoff due to thumb surgery. I wouldn't read anything into it at this point, although if I hear otherwise before the start of the game I will be sure to update. It just seems like a logical spot to get Utley a day off: Although he has three home runs in his career against Nats lefty starter Scott Olsen, he is just 5-for-30 with 10 strikeouts overall. The rest of the Phillies line-up, meanwhile, has crushed Olsen. Today's eight regulars have combined to go 43/130 (.331) with 9 home runs, 7 doubles and a 2 triples off of him in his career. Ryan Howard is 14-for-32 with two home runs and 3 doubles. Jayson Werth is 10-for-20 with three home runs and two doubles.
Utley has started five straight games since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 17. He has reached base in the last four, and is 4-for-18 with a double, two walks an RBI and 3 runs scored.
Last night, in an 8-1 loss to the Nationals, he was 0-for-3 with a walk. He has struck out just once sicne returning.
The Phillies have scored just four runs in their last three games, and have managed just four hits in each one of those.