World Series: Mr. November leads path back to the Bronx
There's a Spike Lee movie (joint?) called "Summer of Sam." It's about the Son of Sam murders in the summer of 1977.
I admit I dig the flick because, among other things, I like the soundtrack.
Since the movie is set in the Bronx, there are plenty of highlights of the Yankees, and nearly all of them show a showboating slugger named Reggie Jackson swinging for the fences.
It was the Fall Classic of 1977 that "Reggie, Reggie!" slammed three home runs in one World Series Game and set the MLB record by hitting five long balls in the series.
Flash forward 32 years later (it's easy math, I was born in '77). A guy who could probably be fairly described as the polar opposite of Reggie Jackson is putting together a strikingly similar show.
Chase Utley has one definition of "hot dog." It's a popular ballpark delicacy.
But like Reggie, he's a World Series home run hero.
In Game 5 of the World Series Monday night, Utley slammed two home runs for the second time in the series to lead the Phils to an 8-6 victory. Utley have five home runs in the series, tying Mr. October's all-time record.
Chase Utley, Mr. November.
"Obviously it's great company. At some point, not right now, maybe I'll look back on it and see what kind of special moment it is," Utley said. "But right now our goal is to win two more games."
And that's the position Utley has helped put the Phillies in, entering Wednesday night's Game 6 in the Bronx. They trail the best-of-seven series 3-2 but appear to have some momentum and definitely have the Series' hottest hitter in Utley.
"He's one of the most prepared, one of the most dedicated, he has the most desire and passion to play the game that I've ever been around," Charlie said. "I used to say Kirby Puckett was my favorite player, and all those things I just said, I used to say those about Kirby Puckett, and I said Kirby Puckett was my favorite player. The only thing Kirby might have on Chase is he's a more flamboyant because he smiles a lot, and Chase is a little bit different.
"He's quiet and he goes about his business in a real good way. But Chase Utley is one of the most -- he's a pleasure to be around and he's a pleasure to manage. I mean that, and I could not say enough about him because that's what I think about him. I don't want to embarrass him or nothing like that, but sometimes I tell our players, "Just play with Chase," because if you play with Chase, you've got a chance to be a pretty good player."
A few postgame notes:
- Pedro Martinez is scheduled to pitch Game 6. Martinez was two home run balls away from tossing a gem at Yankee Stadium last week.
-Ryan Howard struck out twice; with 12 strikeouts in the series, he has tied Willie Wilson (Kansas City, 1980) for the all-time World Series mark.
-Shane Victorino was hit in the right index finger with an A.J. Burnett pitch in the first inning. Initially, he stayed in the game, but Manuel removed Victorino in the eighth after the hand swelled so much that he couldn't grip the ball.
The X-Rays on Victorino's hand came back negative and after Tuesday's off day, should be ready to go.
"Initially I thought oh no it doesn't feel right," Victorino said. "I wanted to play... everything is fine."