By Sam Bush
Last night’s All-Star game should have been called “The Derek Jeter Farewell Tour,” but Chase Utley did some damage for the losing NL.
Returning for the first time in four seasons, Utley impressed in his 6th All-Star Game as the lone Phillies rep. He once again saw time as the starting second baseman for the National League as voted on by the fans, his first time since 2010.
During his two plate appearances out of the 7th hole he doubled against Jon Lester in the 2nd (missing a home run by about two feet), and was hit by a pitch from Chris Sale in the 4th. He would score in the 2nd on a Jonathan Lucroy double, and Dee Gordon pinch-ran for him to end his night in the 4th.
Despite Utley’s success, among that of other National League batters like Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez, the American League would beat the National League 5-3. The AL Champion will have home field advantage in the World Series this October.
The home-grown second baseman is the only representative of Philadelphia in this All-Star game, which does signal something about the strength of the team’s roster. Even in losing seasons, the Phillies have had multiple All-Stars every season since 2003 (that season’s leader? Randy Wolf).
In addition to enjoying the week, Chase spent time fielding questions about his potential trade status come the end of the month. Speaking specifically to Philly.com’s Ryan Lawrence, Utley reiterated his intention to stay with the Phillies, and again mentioned his appreciation of the fans and the city itself.