Phillies second baseman Chase Utley tied a World Series record last night by hitting his fourth and fifth home runs against the Yankees. Utley's heroics propelled Philadelphia past the Bronx Bombers by a score of 8-6 and guaranteed a sixth game in the Fall Classic. Last night's performance marked Utley's second two home run game of the series and it all but assured the 30 year old World Series MVP honors should the Phillies go on to win.
Utley did not waste any time getting a ball to the seats last night as he hit a bomb off of A.J. Burnett in the bottom of the first that gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead. His second dinger was a solo job in the seventh off of reliever Phil Coke that put Philly up 7-2. The second shot also put him in historic company, tying the record that Yankee great Reggie Jackson set in the 1977 World Series against the Dodgers.
Were it not for the performance of New York left fielder Johnny Damon, Utley would probably take home MVP honors even if the Phillies are unable to garner a second consecutive championship. The precedent for that is certianly not great, but without the California native's efforts, this series would already be over.
Utley's teammates attribute his post-season success to his singular focus and legendary work ethic.
"Anything that doesn't involve getting better is like background noise to him," reliever Chad Durbin said.
And anyone that knows Utley assures that records, of any kind, are not on his radar; he is primarily concerned with winning.
"Chase could care less about being a World Series hero just as long as he's on a World Series championship team," reliever Scott Eyre said.
Utley, who is hitting .333 with eight RBI in the series, drew closer to being both last night.
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