Five thoughts from the Fall Classic
Updated: October 29, 2009, 2:35 PM ETBy Peter Gammons
Five things for an afternoon that leads into Game 2 of the World Series: 1. Chase Utley never fails to amaze. His fire, his modesty, his comfort playing on the big stage, or any baseball stage for that matter. The nine-pitch at-bat Utley had against CC Sabathia in the third inning Wednesday night that culminated in the solo home run that gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead was a model of his approach. His OPS against lefties during the regular season was .962, so it shouldn't have been shocking how well he did against Sabathia.Is his hip or foot bothering him? "He wouldn't tell us, let alone you," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who considers Utley the greatest winning team player he's ever known. Utley has reached base in 26 consecutive postseason games. He's simply a fearless player. Much like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, who are never afraid of failure. "His ability to square up fastballs and hook them into the seats is uncanny," says one National League scout of Utley. "The book on him is that he will kill the fastball underneath his hands, so you have to try to get above his hands, but he's so disciplined he doesn't chase. What you really have to do is constantly change up on him because he makes such great adjustments."
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