Chase Utley Hits Inside the Park Home Run, Calls Wheels 'Muff'

Chase Utley Hits Inside the Park Home Run, Calls Wheels 'Muff'

Ryan Howard and Chase Utley both hit home runs to center field this evening. The biggest difference between the pair of solo shots was that Howard got a nice leisurely trot around the base path while Chase Utley sprinted from start to finish.

Howard's eighth inning homer landed in the ivy on the other side of the fence that reads 401 in dead center. Utley's sixth inning job never left the park, and bounced off the high wall in left-center -- perhaps best-known as the spot where Pat Burrell hit his glorious double in game five of the 2008 World Series. The ball then ricocheted towards the left fielder, sending the usually hustling Chase into overdrive.

Citizens Bank Park erupted as Juan Samuel started waving his arm at third, and Chase rounded the bag like a mad man. The relay throw was solid, and as Chase was just feet from home, it looked like he might be nailed at the plate.

Utley left his feet and dove to the side of home plate away from Giants catcher Eli Whiteside. It was a bang-bang play.

He was called safe.

He's also been called "The Man."


Was Chase's all-out airborne slide enough to show Charlie Manuel that 26 is fully healthy?

"That's who he is. He don't know no other way to play and that's what I really love about him," Manuel said.

One guy who knows a thing or two about inside the park home runs had one of the best views in the house for Utley's homer. Shane Victorino was in the hole and from manning center field so much, he knew Chase had a shot as soon as the ball went off the wall. Either it's caught or it's trouble for the Giants, Vic said.

"Of course you're excited. Once the ball caromed off the wall, I was watching Chase," Victorino said. "Once again, Shierholtz made that play a lot closer than it should have been. He went over and made a great play, a great relay. Everything that possibly could have made that closer, they did it. Any other way, Chase is probably standing up at home plate. To Chase's credit, he ran hard out of the box from the second he hit the ball. He hustled the whole way. Obviously things gotta go your way, but that's how you get an inside the park home run."


The Phillies won by a final of 7-2.

Photos by Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

GIF by @dhm


Utley also had some fun at the expense of Chris Wheeler after the game, calling him "Muff."

No. 24 Penn State at Purdue: Nittany Lions seek first road win

No. 24 Penn State at Purdue: Nittany Lions seek first road win

Penn State (5-2, 3-1) vs. Purdue (3-4, 1-3)
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Ind.
Saturday, noon, ABC/ESPN2

Scouting Penn State
The Lions (5-2) upended the Buckeyes, 24-21, when safety Marcus Allen blocked a field goal and cornerback Grant Haley returned it 60 yards for a touchdown with 4:27 left in the game. The Lions, who rallied from a 21-7 deficit after three quarters, earned their third straight victory.

Allen and Haley were named Big Ten co-Special Teams Players of the week, and linebacker Brandon Bell, who had a career-high 19 tackles in the game, earned the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Running back Saquon Barkley has rushed for 681 yards, fifth-most in the Big Ten, and is tied for the conference lead in touchdowns with nine.

Scouting Purdue
Purdue (3-4) fell to Nebraska last week in the debut of Boilermakers interim coach Gerad Parker, who replaced the fired Darrell Hazell on Oct. 16. Quarterback David Blough leads the Big Ten in passing yardage (2,065) and total offense (300.7 yards per game), and has thrown 14 touchdown passes (albeit with 11 interceptions).

The Boilermakers are, however, last in the Big Ten in rushing offense (120.3), total defense (441.0), turnover margin (minus-8) and red-zone offense (15-for-23, 11 touchdowns) and next-to-last in rushing defense (249.0) and passing efficiency.

The Lions lead 13-3-1 and have won the last seven meetings, the most recent a 45-21 victory in 2013.

Storyline to watch
This is the ultimate trap game for PSU, and the Lions’ approach to it will say a lot about their leadership and maturity. They have also dropped their last four road games dating back to last season, including both this fall. Their last victory away from home came last Oct. 24, against Maryland in Baltimore.

What’s at stake
The Lions can become bowl-eligible with a victory.

Penn State 35, Purdue 21

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

CAMDEN, N.J. — If all goes as planned, a time will come when the Sixers can roll out a dominating frontcourt duo with Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor sharing the court in lengthy stretches.

That moment has to wait, though, as both Embiid and Okafor are on minute restrictions. As he returns from a knee injury, Okafor currently is coming off the bench and backing up Embiid.

“This conversation with Jahlil and Joel is more intelligent and applicable at a later date,” Brett Brown said at practice Friday. “When Jahlil’s minutes start going up and Joel can, then it’s a real conversation. I do think you may see them sooner than even I thought together. But as far as making it a real constant part of a strategy or rotation, it’s beyond too early days.”

In an ideal world, Brown could pair the two bigs now and use all of their allotted minutes (Embiid 20, Okafor 14) at once. That would leave an extensive workload on second-year bench player Richaun Holmes.

“This is a hot topic,” Brown said. “I will say it one more time: If I play Jahlil and Jo together, I hope Richaun can play 35 minutes.”

It’s an unrealistic expectation for Holmes, who averaged 13.8 minutes in 51 games last season. Brown caps the majority of the Sixers at six-minute segments to keep them competing at a high energy level.

“Right now, he’s a backup,” Brown said of Holmes. “I think he’s going to be an NBA player for a very long time. I just feel like in the role, he’s a second-year player that didn’t really have much of a role last year. He’s shown everybody that he’s for real. He really can play a role. At this early stage, that is the key word.”

Embiid and Okafor have been envisioning competing together since Okafor was drafted two years ago. They became friends long before they were NBA players and have an easy chemistry on the court as a result.

“I think it’s going to be exciting,” Embiid said. “We played a little bit together today in practice. We’re figuring out how to play with each other. It’s a process and we’ve got trust it.”

Yes, the players know they have to wait, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to resist an opportunity to play with one another.  

“I think once we figure it out, we can really dominate together,” Okafor said. “We were able to flirt with it again today. We accidentally keep ending up on the same team even though Coach keeps telling us to make sure we alternate. But we’re having fun. We’re trying to put some pressure on it because we want to play together.”

Is that accidentally with air quotes?

“Yeah, exactly,” Okafor said with a laugh.