07/31/06 7:28 PM ET
Streaking Utley NL co-player of week
All-Star second baseman riding 32-game hitting streak
By Michael Walsh / MLB.com
Now Utley has something else that will speak for his recent tear as the owner of a 32-game hitting streak was named the co-winner of the Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week Award, along with Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran.Utley refuses to talk about the streak, redirecting questions and giving answers that push the spotlight to his teammates and away from his current prowess at the plate. When asked after the Philles' 5-2 win last week over the Diamondbacks if he learned anything from teammate Jimmy Rollins' hitting streak earlier this season, Utley moved like he was avoiding a sliding runner trying to breaking up a double play. "Well, [Mike Lieberthal] came up with a big two-out, two-run home run," said Utley, who led the NL in hits, total bases, and runs from July 24-30. "We had some big hits with guys on base." As a matter of fact, not too many people are willing to talk about the run the UCLA alum is on. Utley's ability to provide a consistent spark offensively has his teammates talking, but not too loudly. "It's amazing to watch him hit right now, but I don't think anybody's really mentioning it," said Lieberthal. "So, we're trying to kind of keep that quiet." The rest of the Philadelphia offense seems to have caught fire along with Utley over the last week, averaging better than seven runs a game, something that Utley explains quickly and simply. "We're just putting good at-bats together," said Utley after the Phillies swept a day-night doubleheader against the Marlins on Sunday. "We're waiting for our pitch to hit."
Michael Walsh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.