Chase Utley Denies Intent To Hurt; Issues Apology To Ruben Tejada

Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA Today Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA Today Sports

Through two games of the NLDS between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, the seventh inning has been the key.

In Game 1, Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw walked the bases loaded and was removed from the game. Reliever Pedro Baez came in and allowed a two-run single that made the game 3-0 in an eventual 3-1 loss for the Dodgers. In Game 2, Chase Utley created controversy with a late slide into second base trying to break up a double play. The play ended up sparking a rally for the Dodgers and left Ruben Tejada with a fractured right fibula.

After the game, Utley expressed remorse and explained his intention. “I feel terrible that he was injured,” the veteran infielder said. “There was no intent to injure him whatsoever, but I did have the intent to break up the double play.”

He went on. “Any time you have an opportunity to break up a double play, you do your best to do that. It was an awkward, awkward play.”

Utley added the play was “fast” and he had seen the replay. He was asked what he considered to be a dirty slide. “I guess it really depends who you’re talking to, but again, there was no intent to injure Ruben.”

One member of the Mets who was visibly upset was third baseman David Wright, but Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that Utley reached out to Wright in order to apologize to Tejada:

The series takes a day off on Sunday for travel across the country to New York where Games 3 and 4 will take place on Monday and Tuesday. Utley wasn’t sure if the Mets would seek retaliation, but Monday’s contest now has more intrigue than before.


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