08/05/06 2:45 PM ET
Notes: Utley ready to talk streak
With hitting run snapped at 35 games, All-Star shares thoughts
By Kit Stier / Special to MLB.com
Philadelphia's second baseman said on Saturday that he's not a superstitious person, even though there came a time during the streak, the second longest in Philadelphia Phillies history, that he refused to talk about it with either the media, or even his teammates.
Utley said the sounds of silence started as kind of a joke.
"It just kept working out that way," said Utley, who batted .405 (62-for-153) during the streak that ended when he went 0-for-5 in a game his team won 5-3 over the Mets at Shea Stadium on Friday. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Utley recalled that a teammate brought up the subject of the streak when the run was in its early stages in San Francisco in mid-June.
"I don't specifically recall it," Utley said. "I said, 'I can't hear what you're saying,'"
And from that point on, Utley didn't talk about the streak until it ended. Now he'll talk about it at length.
FOX had the Phillies-Mets game as its nationally televised game on Saturday, and ESPN is televising the two teams on Sunday night. Network heads, always with their eyes trained on ratings, couldn't have been pleased that Utley's streak ended.
Off day: Phillies manager Charlie Manuel loaded his Saturday lineup with right-handed batters to do combat with veteran Mets left-hander Tom Glavine.
And since the left-handed batting Utley's hitting streak is now history, he got the day off. That was just as well, because Utley has only a double to show for 10 lifetime at-bats against Glavine.
"No," Manuel said, when asked if he'd have rested Utley against Glavine if the streak were still in progress. "I'm not going to let you guys get me on that one."
Who's next? "I'd like to see two or three of them take off and do it," Manuel said, when asked what player on his roster might follow Utley and Rollins and go on a long hitting streak. "The whole lineup can do it if they want to."
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins knocked hits in 38 straight games at the end of 2005 and at the start of this season.
Cooperstown-bound: The Baseball Hall of Fame requested Utley send them a memento of his streak, so he's donating his shoes.
"Because I don't need them anymore," the second baseman said, drawing a laugh.
Rollins sent a batting helmet to Cooperstown.
More on the lineup: Manuel departed from his norm when he filled out his lineup card on Saturday.
Shane Victorino batted in the leadoff spot for only the sixth time. Aaron Rowand, who most often bats sixth, hit No. 2 for the 15th time. Rollins, Philadelphia's leadoff man in 100 games this year, batted No. 3 for the first time. Ryan Howard has batted in the No. 5 spot in 62 games, but was moved to cleanup for the 22nd time. Pat Burrell, the cleanup batter in 69 games, dropped to No. 5 for the 18th time.
Howard was the only pure left-handed batter in the lineup, and four of those who started were switch-hitters.
Monday deadline: The Phillies must decide what to do with reliever Ryan Franklin, who was designated for assignment earlier this week, by Monday. If they aren't able to trade him, he'll become a free agent.
On deck: A pair of young right-handers hook up in Sunday's series finale at Shea Stadium. Scott Mathieson, who notched his first Major League victory in St. Louis last Tuesday, will need to be more in command of his pitches when he takes the mound for the Phillies. He has pitched just 21 2/3 innings in his four starts and has yielded 15 hits while walking 10. John Maine starts for the Mets, working on a streak of 17 scoreless innings. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET.
Kit Stier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.