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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-07-08

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-07-08

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2008-07-08
Chase Utley never imagined himself in the Home Run Derby.

Utley, the Phillies' ultra-serious All-Star second baseman, just didn't seem to fit with the likes of backward-hat-wearing Ken Griffey Jr., or jovial David "Big Papi" Ortiz, or freakishly strong teammate Ryan Howard.

Ask Utley, and he'll insist the All-Star Derby isn't for him.

"Usually, you figure the big boys are in it," he said.

So, Utley needed prodding -- "Peer pressure," Howard joked -- before agreeing to swing for the fences next Monday night at Yankee Stadium. Utley, who leads the majors with 25 homers, will compete against Florida's Dan Uggla, Houston's Lance Berkman, Cleveland's Grady Sizemore, Texas' Josh Hamilton and three players to be named.

"I imagine I'll have my work cut out for me," said Utley, shut out in his only other home-run derby in Class A in 2001. "But it's going to be something fun. It's kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially with Yankee Stadium in the last year for that. We'll see how it goes."

For the fifth straight season, a Phillies player will be included in the Derby. Bobby Abreu won in 2005, followed by Howard in 2006. Howard competed last season, while Jim Thome participated in 2004. Utley has enlisted Phillies catching instructor Mick Billmeyer to pitch to him. Billmeyer pitched to Thome.

METS 10, PHILLIES 9: Adam Eaton allowed eight runs (six earned) and lasted only 2 2/3 innings to doom the Phillies to a third straight loss in the finale of a four-game series against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies, trailing by eight runs after the third inning, rallied on home runs by Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard and pinch-hitting Geoff Jenkins. They put the tying run in scoring position in the ninth inning but were unable to pull even against Mets closer Billy Wagner. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Howard had two hits apiece for the Phillies.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: July 8, 2008

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