Chase Chasing Dimaggio
Yeah, that's a bad headline. The Philladelphia Phillies Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 35 games last night the 10th longest streak in MLB history. As most everyone who has been drawing breath and watching any amount of baseball knows the record is 56 games held by Yankee great Joe Dimaggio. Second on the list is banned all time hits leader Pete Rose at 44 games. What that means is we are about five games away from this being a media frenzy which may crush the life out of poor Mr. Utley. I also think 56 is as Gene Hackman said in Hoosiers "beyond your wildest dreams so let's keept it right there." Pete Rose's 44 games in a row is probably considered the de facto modern mark. I think if Utley can pass Rose that is a significant accomplishment in itself especially if you consider the Rose is banned and anyone knocking him down a rung should be congratulated. Of course if Utley gets to 45 then the logic goes that 11 more games is most certainly doable. Can Utley do it? He has a lot in his favor, this untimely post notwithstanding. He has great speed as he illustrated Wednesday night when he beat out a comebacker to the pitcher(who took a moment to check the runner) which was initially ruled a fielder's choice but changed on review. It was also made moot by the fact he singled in 9th inning. His speed means that he can beat out infield rollers or even lay down a bunt if necessary to keep the streak alive. He is also batting .330 for the season which tells me he is a good hitter and not some mediocre hitter who just got hot like his teammate Jimmy Rollins who went for 38 straight at the end of last season into this one. As for whose next on the schedule. The Phillies are at New York and then Atlanta. It will be interesting to see how this streak proceeds against decent pitching. Road games also mean Utley's Phllies will come to bat during all nine innings as opposed to home games where they would lose the bottom of the ninth if ahead. A week from now it will either be over or he will be at 41 straight with Cincinnati coming to town for the weekend.