You’ve heard this a million times over the last day and a half, but Chase Utley was (and still is) the man. In his first game back at Citizens Bank Park since being dealt to the Dodgers last season, Chase was nothing short of spectacular. Utley always had a flair for the dramatic, and boy did he prove that again tonight. After receiving a minute and a half long ovation from the Phillies’ fans and players from both teams, including Ryan Howard, Utley struck out looking in his first at-bat. But he would deliver more fireworks later as he hit not one, but TWO home runs in the game, including a grand slam. Chase received a curtain call for both of his home runs, something almost unheard of for Philly fans when it comes to opposing players. But when all was said and done, this game was not close. The Phillies (56-64) got pounded by the Dodgers (66-52) and fell by a final score of 15-5.
Cameron Rupp got things off to a good start for the Phillies as he hit a solo home run to deep center field in the bottom of the 2nd inning to get the Phillies on the board first. The Dodgers didn’t get on the board until the 5th inning, but a two-run homer by Howie Kendrick and Utley’s first home run put LA up 3-1. Yasmani Grandal padded the Dodgers’ lead with a two run home run in the top of the 6th. In the bottom half of the inning, Cesar Hernandez hit a solo homer to right that made it a 5-2 game. However, the wheels came off for the Phillies in the top of the 7th inning as the Dodgers put up an 8 spot, which was capped off by Utley’s grand slam that got him his 2nd curtain call. Ryan Howard made it feel like 2008 again as he hit a 2-run home run into the Phillies’ bullpen that made fans reminisce about the good ole’ days when Utley and Howard homered in the same game. Both teams would add a few more runs in this one and bring us to our final score of 15-5.
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez was cruising through the first 4 innings, but the Dodgers figured out his fastball in the 5th inning. Velasquez was able to strike out the side in the first inning, but it took over 20 pitches. Velasquez suffered his 5th loss of the season as he allowed 5 runs on 7 hits and a walk while striking out 10 batters in 5 and 2/3 innings of work. Velasquez falls to 8-5 on the season with a 4.14 ERA after tonight’s loss. The Phillies’ bullpen also struggled in tonight’s ballgame, as they combined to allow 10 runs on 7 hits and 3 and 1/3 innings. Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda picked up the win tonight as he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk in 6 innings of work. Maeda improves to 12-7 on the year with a 3.29 ERA.
The Phillies and Dodgers will play the second of three games tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. Phillies rookie Jake Thompson (1-1, 8.68 ERA) will take on Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir (9-6, 4.44 ERA) tomorrow at Citizens Bank Park. Thompson is coming off of his first career victory in his last start and will look to shut down Utley and the Dodgers.
Photo via Zimbio.com