10/08/10 11:52 PM ET
Utley has memorable trip around bases
Unsure if he was hit by pitch, may also have missed third
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
There is no disputing that. But the rest of his trip around the bases in the seventh inning Friday had everybody talking as the Phillies overcame a four-run deficit in bizarre fashion to beat the Reds, 7-4, in Game 2 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park.
The Reds had a one-run lead when Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman entered the game in the seventh. He threw a first-pitch fastball to Utley that flashed 100 mph on the radar gun in right field. He followed with an 87-mph slider for a called second strike.
Chapman next's pitch -- a 101-mph fastball -- hit Utley.
Utley immediately put down his head and jogged to first base. Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan never protested. Chapman never protested. Nobody in Cincinnati's dugout said a word, either. But instant replay could not clearly show the pitch hitting Utley.
"I'm not sure," Utley said. "It was pretty close. At first, I thought it was going to hit me in my head. Fortunately, it didn't. And he throws so hard. I felt like I thought it hit me, so I put my head down and I ran to first."
The Reds realized later they might have been duped.
"I don't think at any time that the ball hit him," Chapman said through an interpreter. "I don't think he ever got hit."
"Whether it hit him first or not, I couldn't tell," Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan said. "It wasn't obvious, I can tell you that."
Hit by pitch or not, it started an incredible rally.
Jayson Werth bounced a ball to Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, who threw to second for the forceout. Reds manager Dusty Baker thought Utley was out at second, but second-base umpire Ed Rapuano ruled him safe.
Jimmy Rollins then hit a routine line drive to Reds right fielder Jay Bruce.
Bruce missed the ball.
He really missed. The ball flew past him. Utley, who was returning to second, reversed course and ran around third and scored. Werth also scored, thanks to Brandon Phillips dropping the relay throw from center fielder Drew Stubbs.
"I was in the process of going back to second base," Utley said. "I didn't want to get doubled off. Then I saw it go by him, and then I was not in a very good position to score, but lucky enough it got far enough away from him that I was able to, and Jayson as well." The Phillies had a 5-4 lead.
Utley also might have missed third base, but Baker said he heard about it too late.
"I was watching the ball," Baker said. "I was watching Jay. Then I was watching the cutoff and relay situation, and you can't watch everything. It was too late when I heard about it to appeal."
Utley only said this about his inning on the bases:
"It was a little hectic. I'm not going to lie."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.