The Amazing Utley out duels The Deal

Chase Utley continues to chase down Davey Johnson, as he hit his 21st home run of the season off Bronson Arroyo in the 1st inning. The bomb was his 5th straight game that he dialed long distance–and this helped him edge out young Bruce for the NL Player of the Week honors.
Utley pretty much showed those watching the game last night how to single-handedly win a ballgame for your team as a second baseman who hits in the middle of the order. He collected two other hits in the game besides the round tripper and made several nice defensive plays including a diving stop on a Joey Votto line drive in the 9th inning to end the game.
We won’t talk long about Jay Bruce, but he continues to impress. He homered oppo to left field off Kyle Kendrick and collected a single. He also lined out hard and popped out after a great at bat. This was the first road game of his career and the 2nd game of his career that he hit 3rd in the lineup.
Couple of other observations:
  • Adam Dunn got a nice clutch hit after a nice at-bat, doubling home 2 runners to cut the deficit to 1. He stayed back on a breaking ball from Chad Durbin and just missed hitting a game tying home run.
  • Brad Lidge looked like the Brad Lidge of old.
  • If Edwin Encarnacion got hot (he homered), it would possibly be the type of thing that got the Reds back in the pennant race. I don’t think he’s that type of player, and I don’t think it will happen. But it was something I was thinking about at work.
  • Bronson Arroyo is the worst of the 5 starters now in the Reds rotation with Homer Bailey up.
  • Ryan Freel can’t do much with a flat fastball. If he doesn’t flare it just out of the infield, he’s in trouble.