Chase Utley was left out of the Phillies lineup last night due to pain in his side.
It’s probably an oblique issue, says everyone, and the best the Phillies could do in terms of optimism was getting Charlie Manuel to say, “Hopefully we don’t lose him for very long.”
Yeah, hopefully we don’t, though the very slim silver lining is that the Freddy Galvis playing time we’ve all been clamoring for may have just ballooned in availability. But also, Chase is productive, despite cooling off from his early season rampage. You need him out there. Freddy is a terrific fielder and developing hitter, but he is far too naturally adorable to give this team what it needs in terms of death stares.
Without Chase and Chooch for extended periods, the lineup will see a lot more Galvis and Kratz, who it’s hard to talk down on at the moment due to their tandem clutchness in recent days. But it’s hard to imagine this team making a run of some kind, which I guess for us now means clawing our way above .500, without Chase in the lineup. I thought we might be able to do it without Ryan, but Chase’s success doesn’t come as drastically streaky as Howard’s. And he doesn’t strike out as much.
So, with Jimmy Rollins wistfully staring into the distance recently and picturing the Phillies getting blown up, it’s easier to picture it happening. And even easier to let those anxieties progress with Chase sitting on the bench in pain.