Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley has a new home, new teammates and a new position all in the last month.
The 36-year-old had spent his entire career with the Philadelphia Phillies and essentially his whole career as a second baseman. He is now a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers and made his MLB debut at third base on Monday. Reunited with teammate Jimmy Rollins, the former Phillie duo were big parts of the Dodgers’ win on Wednesday night.
Utley led off the night for the Dodgers with a home run and that run stood as the only form of offense until the bottom of the eighth inning. That’s when Rollins led off the inning with a bunt single. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and was driven home by Utley on a double to the gap. For good measure, rookie Corey Seager hit a two-run home run to make it 4-1 and seal the game for the Dodgers.
After the game, Utley talked about his key moment that helped the team lower the magic number to six, and then five following a San Francisco Giants’ loss. “It was a quick at-bat,” he said. “I swung at the first pitch, which was a breaking ball. I was able to square it up and hit it over his [Ender Inciarte] head and Jimmy scored. Jimmy had a big bunt hit.”
The veteran infielder discussed the important of the win as well. “Every victory from here on out is important,” Utley said. “Obviously we’re getting close to the finish line, it would be nice to finish strong.”
Once he joined the Dodgers, Utley was placed in an important role in the middle of a pennant race. He was expected to fill in for Howie Kendrick right away and then continue to fill in where he is needed. The former All-Star has received a sense of rejuvenation with his new team.
“I think being in a playoff race is a change of pace from the last few years,” he remarked. “I almost forgot what it was like to be in this type of atmosphere. It’s definitely refreshing, it’s fun. It’s going to be exciting.”
The Dodgers took the final game of the series with the Arizona Diamondbacks and currently sit with a magic number of four.