Long before Chase Utley wore Dodger blue, he wore Phillies red. Tonight’s game saw his return to the city he called home for twelve years. How would those ever-loving Phillies fans react? The first time Utley stepped to the plate, the fans stepped up big, with true brotherly love that brought goosebumps and thrills right through the screen.
Utley received a standing ovation from the crowd, both dugouts, and the opposing Phillies on the field.
After tipping his cap to every side of the stadium, he stepped back into the batters box. The applause just got louder. He tipped his cap to all once again, and returned to ready position at the plate as the ovation continued. It lasted 1 minute, 15 seconds in all. I think it’s safe to say, Philadelphia fans have never welcomed an opposing player so warmly.
And that was just the opening act.
The Dodgers were not starting out well. The first five Dodgers struck out.
Maeda gave up a solo homer. 0-1
4th inning 0-1
The Dodgers were still sputtering. Thy had five hits, but nothing to show for them.
1,2,3 inning for Maeda.
And then…it began.
Chase Utley came up and thrilled the fans with a home run! 3-1 Curtain call, Utley.
A scary, towering fly out by Ryan Howard, but nothing else.
6th inning 3-1
Yasmani Grandal jacked one out. A 400-footer that was good for two more Dodgers runs. 5-1
Maeda started the inning at just under 75 pitches.
With one out, Maeda gave up a line drive home run. 5-2
7th inning 5-2
Chase Utley singled and Joc Pederson doubled.
Justin Turner shot a base hit just past Ryan Howard at first to load the bases with no out.
Reddick hit into a FC. One out. Natch.
Adrian Gonzalez got plunked on his arm to bring in a run. 6-2
Whoa! Grandal walked on a pitch well off the plate for another run. 7-2
Another run walked in. 8-2
Rob Segedin PH for Maeda. Base hit! 9-2
And then Utley happened!
GRAND SLAM, UTLEY!! 13-2 Of course, another curtain call.
Pedro Baez in.
He gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Howard. 13-4
8th inning 13-4
J.P. Howell in.
After loading the bases with three straight hits, he gave up a sac fly. 13-5
9th inning 13-5
Joc Pederson with a gapper for a double.
Then red-hot Howie hit an RBI triple high off the RF scoreboard (leaving him a double shy of the cycle). 14-5
He later came around to score. 15-5
Casey Fien came in for his return from the DL. Job done!
Dodgers win! 15-5
Kenta Maeda once again pitched a solid game. He held the Phillies to one run through five innings, and two runs through six, with nine strike outs. For all the talk about how the Dodgers persevered after Clayton Kershaw went down, Kenta Maeda deserves much credit for picking up the Dodgers’ flag and absolutely filling in that number one pitching spot.
Look out: The once-dependable Pedro Baez is reverting back to that guy who gives up home runs in almost every outing. He’s given up three home runs over his past four games. Blame it on being overworked? That’s as good an explanation as any.
What’s with this Reddick dude? How long is he going to skate by on excuses like he’s trying too hard, and the sun is in his eyes? He continues to drop fly balls in the outfield and not hit the ball, especially with runners in scoring position.
Perhaps the larger question is, How much longer is this hole in the lineup going to continue to hit in the clean up spot?
Wow moment: Chase Utley getting a curtain call from the Philadelphia crowd after his first home run. A tip of the cap for a homer – against the home team! And Utley topped that two innings later with a grand slam!
Howie Kendrick has a modest six-game hitting streak. Tonight he was 4 for 5 with a 2-run home run, a triple and 2 singles.
The Dodgers now sit tied with the Giants for first place in the NL West.
Kenta Maeda went 6 innings with 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 HRs, 1 walk, 9 Ks ERA 3.29
Home runs: Yasmani Grandal, Chase Utley , Howie Kendrick