Chase Utley's numbers were a big part of the reason the Phillies second baseman was named Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week. Fourteen hits in 29 at-bats, three home runs, eight RBIs and nine runs only tell part of the story, though. The key number was seven, as in seven wins in seven days for Utley and the Phillies.
Utley has been one of many keys to the recent success of the Phillies, now winners of eight straight. He hit safely in all seven games last week, including six multihit games. Utley's .483 batting average and .862 slugging percentage were both good for tops in the league over the week. "I feel really comfortable at the plate, and seeing the ball well," Utley said. "My swing is working." In Friday's 8-3 win over the Giants, Utley wowed the Citizens Bank Park crowd with two towering home runs, the first of which reached the second deck in right field. Utley's week has catapulted him to the top of the leaderboard among second basemen. His .581 slugging percentage is best in the Majors at the position, and he is second in hits and RBIs. As Utley has heated up, so have the Phillies, who swept consecutive series against Florida, Atlanta and San Francisco to move over .500 for the first time this season. They now trail the first-place Mets by four games, heading into a three-game series against New York at Citizens Bank Park. This is the second National League Player of the Week award for Utley, who was honored after batting .471 for the week of July 11-17, 2005. Among the other nominees for the award included Utley's teammates Rheal Cormier (five games, 2-0, 0.00 ERA), Tom Gordon (0.00 ERA, six strikeouts, four saves), Ryan Howard (.304 average, three homers, nine RBIs) and Aaron Rowand (.333 average, three homers, nine RBIs).
Zachary Levine is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.