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."