Truer words were never spoken when our late, great, beloved Harry Kalas proclaimed those six little words that we’ve adopted as one of our favorite catch phrases: “Chase Utley, you are the man!”
There is no argument. Chase Cameron Utley really is the man. #26 picked up where he left off in the World Series – swinging his boomstick and launching balls into the stands. Through nine games, the power-hitting second baseman has gone deep five times, which puts him on pace to hit 90 long balls this season. Is that going to happen? No one can say for sure. All right, maybe they can but that takes all the fun out of it.
Four of Utley’s five homers have come in the last three games. He now shares the lead in jacks in the National League with Cardinals’ first baseman Albert Pujols.
Utley has also reached base safely at least once in each game so far. Before yesterday’s game, he had only struck out once and had been walked nine times. Naturally, after it was mentioned during the broadcast that he’d only been the victim of one K, he struck out three times following his solo shot to right-center field in the bottom of the first inning.
I know, I know. It’s extremely early in the season to be making any kind of predictions. But when you look around the NL, is there any doubt that he’s going to win his fifth consecutive Silver Slugger Award? If, I mean when he does, it will tie him with Ryne Sandberg (1988-1992) for most consecutive Silver Sluggers won as a second baseman. Ryno has won a total of 7, most ever at second base.
Chase is also quietly creeping up on the 1,000-hit mark. He will certainly surpass that milestone within the next couple of weeks, as he presently sits just 11 shy at 989.
For shits and giggles, I’ll leave you with this:
I feel like I can call you Chase because you and me are so much alike. I would love to meet you someday. It would be great to have a catch. I know I can’t throw as fast as you, but I think you would be impressed with my speed. I love your hair. You run fast. Did you have a good relationship with your father? Me neither. These are all things we can talk about. And more. I know you have not been getting my letters because I know you would write back if you did. And I hope you write back this time and we get to be good friends. I’m sure our relationship would be a real home run.
And this: all five long balls crammed into 1 minute and 25 seconds.