To anyone who has been watching the Philadelphia Phillies opening week of the season, a couple things have stood out at this point, not the least of which being this oft-repeated nugget: Chase Utley is damn good at everything.
Unfortunately, hometown fans will be deprived of his spectacular play for yet another day (on top of the already delayed home opener), due to the flu. Although not a long term injury concern, this will mean that Chase has only been present for one out of the last four home openers (last season being the lone exception).
This season is particularly disappointing, due to his hot start to date.
In the first 7 days of the season, Chase has batted .458/.536/.833 (that’s an MLB-high 1.369 OPS), with 2 HR and a WOW-inducing 292 wRC+. That’s not even mentioning that he also leads all of baseball with 0.7 fWAR in only 6 games.
However, he was criminally passed over for NL Player of the Week honors, with Jose Fernandez and Charlie Blackmon stealing it from him. It’s par for the course after being disrespected by MVP and Gold Glove voters every single year from 2005-2009; he’s used to it.
Utley now has an 11-game hitting streak dating back to last year, and on Saturday hit his 300th-career double against the Cubs. In that game, he went 3-3 with a 1B, 2B, HR, and a BB.
Turns out Spring Training stats really aren’t everything, after all.
No one is more greatly affected by this change than Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Kyle Lohse, who’s ERA, WHIP, and FIP are all given a reprieve from MLB’s offensive leader.