Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Utley's numbers better when he's coming off an off-day

Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a RBI single in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on July 4, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a RBI single in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on July 4, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

HERE IS a question we never thought we would present to Phillies Nation . . .

Is half a Chase Utley better than a full Chase Utley? Well, right now, it sure seems like it.

Since last year's All-Star break, Utley has started 28 games a day after not starting. He is hitting .364 with with a .536 slugging percentage in those games. In all other games when he started the day before, he is hitting .252 with a .389 slugging percentage.

Honestly, I don't know if you can trot a guy like Utley out there every other day for a club going nowhere except down, but at this point, it certainly seems to be worth considering.

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    Here are some other quick stats that caught our attention recently . . .

    * If you throw out Domonic Brown's 42-game torrid streak covering 6 weeks of 2013 (.327/.345/.716 and 17 home runs), his career numbers look like this: .236/.305/.370 and 27 home runs in 325 games.

    * Through Wednesday, Phillies rookie fireballing reliever Ken Giles had recorded 14 strikeouts in his first nine career innings. Only six Phillies pitchers ever struck out more than that in one game: Chris Short, Art Mahaffey, Steve Carlton, Curt Schilling, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

    * Heading into their weekend series in Pittsburgh, the Phillies have been held scoreless 11 times. The most shutouts the team ever suffered is 23 (1908 and 1909).

    * The Phils have sunk to being a double-digit number of games under .500. It's kind of hard to believe that between April 26, 2009, and April 7, 2012, they were never below .500.

    * When the Lakers took Kentucky forward Julius Randle with the seventh pick in last week's NBA draft, it was their first selection in single digits in 32 seasons (James Worthy, No. 1 in 1982).

    * According to Vegas Vic, before the World Cup started, Costa Rica was 2000-to-1 to win the whole thing . . . It meet Netherlands in a quarterfinal match today.

    * During group play of the World Cup, a goal was scored just about every 17 minutes (136 goals/2,300 minutes) . . . In the Round of 16, there was a goal scored about every 52 minutes (18 goals/939 minutes).

    * In the United States' four World Cup games, goalie Tim Howard had 28 saves. Opposing goalies had 10.

    * The USA played more injury time in the group round (22:39) than any other World Cup team.

    BOB VETRONE JR. Daily News Staff Writer vetronb@phillynews.com
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