THURSDAY ROUNDUP: Chase Utley Lives, Charlie Manuel Whiffs, Ryan Howard Kids
AUDIO (ESPN): No, no, Philly fans — you’re not the one who thought Chase Utley played like he had something to prove in his 2012 debut Wednesday, an 11-7 loss to the Pirates. And Chahhhlie Manuel said he thought it got the whole team revved up. Well, almost the whole team.
AUDIO (CSN Philly): No shocker here: Individual heroics or not, Chase Utley wasn’t really all that enthused after his debut. Said getting the home run was nice but wasn’t enough, though he did concede that he was happy just to be out there. Though he never wanted to be in this situaiton. (Not really sure why he took that question that way.)
AUDIO (CSN Philly): Going in, last night might’ve been Chase Utley‘s. But Ryan Howard indulged like it was his, chatting it up with the media with charisma and comedy we haven’t seen from him in, well, however long it’s been since he’s actually said anything about anything to anybody. (Podcast has been sort of a downer, insofar as breaking news goes.) Greeted the media with a “Let’s get this shin dig started!!!” and joked about his contract when asked, saying “guess it’s a good thing I signed that deal early.” (Touche.) The good news? That his swing is fine, his Achilles is fine, and that, in general, everything’s just kinda sorta fine. Even enjoyed a little soul-searching throughout the ordeal. The bad news? That spring training next year was his best guess on when he’ll be back to 100 percent, (even though (he’s going to try super hard to use whatever he’s got), that he would’ve been back sooner if not for the infection. (Which, while it’s nobody’s fault, just doesn’t sit well because, in the day of 20-freaking-12 modern medicine, it just seems SO AVOIDABLE!!!)
SCRIPTUALS (CSN Philly): Jim Salisbury notes that while the Phillies “Starter By Bullpen Committee Patchwork Pitching” thing was getting shelled by the Pirates in an eventual 11-7 loss, Tyler Cloyd was waiting — oh so patiently waiting — for a chance. And the Triple-A All-Star Game, for his 10-1 mark and 2.07 ERA in the minors this season. Just saying.
SCRIPTUALS (ESPN): Jerry Crasnick swoons after Chase Utley’s return.
SCRIPTUALS (ESPN): Dave Schoenfield ponders Chase’s Hall of Fame chops. (Note: This ran at 3:30 p.m. EST Wednesday, well before the heroics.)
SCRITPUALS (SI): Just in case the Sixers go Sullinger tongiht: Michael Rosenberg gives Philly fans reason to not wander into traffic immediately. Least he tries.
SCRIPTUALS (Daily Record): Rob Harris notes that (gasp!) David Beckham failed to make Her Majesty’s Olympic Soccer Squad.
SCRIPTUALS (Detroit Free Press): Drew Sharp boo-hoos for Notre Dame, Big 10, who, he writes, are hurt the most by the new BCS four-team playoff format.
SCRIPTUALS (Telegraph): Speaking of tears: Duncan White feels really bad for Cristiano Ronaldo, the lonely last penalty kicker for Portugal, which lost the Euro 2012 Semifinal to Spain on PKs – 4-2.
SCRIPTUALS (Houston Chronicle): No, no — really, Jonathan Feigen writes. The Rockets really think they’re just one more move away from landing Dwight Howard.
STATISTICALS (Todd Zolecki, MLB.com): The Phillies bullpen entered with a 4.41 ERA, ranked 25th in baseball. It allowed 11 runs against the Pirates, who entered the night 29th in baseball averaging 3.41 runs per game.
STATISTICALS (ESPN Stats and Information): Phillies 2B had a HR every 56.2 AB (5 HR in 281 AB) this season. The Phillieshad 4 HR in the first inning all season. Utley and Ruiz went back-to-back in the 1st. … The Phillies used their entire bullpenexcept for closer Jonathan Papelbon. … Phillies had their 260th straight sellout, including postseason play.
STATISTICALS (Elias): James McDonald settled down after allowing back-to-back home runs to Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz inthe first inning, pitching into the sixth inning to earn a victory in the Pirates’ 11-7 victory at Philadelphia. McDonald was only the third Pirates pitcher in the last 50 years to win a game in which he allowed two homers in the first inning. The others wereSteve Blass in 1969 and Todd Ritchie in 1999.
ON THIS DAY:
1997 - Mike Tyson was disqualified for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear after three rounds of their WBA heavyweight title fight inLas Vegas, NV.
1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the draft evasion conviction of Muhammad Ali.
1995 – The NBA Draft was held at the Skydome in Toronto, Ontario. It was the first time the draft was held outside the United States.
1996 - Darryl Strawberry hit his 300th home run.