Chase Utley smack dab in the middle of a huge postseason moment?
Sounds about right.
And in the Dodgers' do-or-die Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night, Utley was doing so in the most Chase Utley way possible.
You guessed it — a hit by pitch.
The Dodgers were trailing the Astros, 1-0, in the bottom of the sixth inning when Utley came to the plate with a runner on first and no outs. Down in the count at 1-2 against a dealing Justin Verlander, No. 26 took a pitch low in the dirt ... and didn't move much. Utley, as he so effortlessly but eloquently does, wore the pitch right in the foot — and didn't mind one bit.
Just look at his reaction (pictures courtesy of USA Today Images).
Not surprisingly, Utley's guile turned out to be critical in the 3-1 win to force Game 7. The 38-year-old came around to score the go-ahead run during the Dodgers' two-run sixth inning, making a little history while at it.
A baseball ricocheting off Utley is like us waking up in the morning — it's just natural. As we know, an HBP is just as good as a hit to Mr. Utley. After all, he's the Phillies' all-time leader with 173 plunk jobs.
Following this hit by pitch, Utley remained 0 for 14 this postseason.
In his mind, though, the box score will look much different.
And that's what you love about "The Man."
(Future MVP?) Carson Wentz was featured as the cover story for ESPN The Magazine this week.
The story references Wawa in the first sentence, so you know it's going to be good. It also features Ray Didinger dropping some knowledge on the history of the Birds and explores the complicated relationship between the town's last star quarterback, Donovan McNabb, and Eagles fans. It's well worth the read.
The story asks if Wentz and the Eagles are just setting fans up for another heartbreak — something lifetime fans should probably expect at this point. That's all fine and dandy, but there's one bit we need to discuss. The cover. Oh my, the cover.
Sure, we're thankful to have an incredible quarterback and all, but the symbolism of Wentz as some giant, grotesque Thanksgiving Parade float caricature is a bit much.
But Eagles fans would take a Super Bowl celebration parade down Broad Street over a lame Thanksgiving parade every day.
It's not everyday you see an Eagles player take the ball and run for 71 yards. So Philadelphia fans understandably went bonkers when Jay Ajayi did just that in the Birds' win over the Cowboys on Sunday.
It's also not that frequent that you see a dude get chased down from behind on such a play.
Sadly, the latter happened to Ajayi and his teammates let him hear it on the sidelines after. The fantastic Inside the NFL gave us an up-close look at the roasting.
You almost feel bad for Ajayi, like Kenjon Barner is laying it on a little too thick.
"You slow as $#@!," one player tells him.
"They're gonna lower my speed on Madden," Ajayi says.