Utley continues to feast off CC

Utley continues to feast off CC

PHILADELPHIA -- Chase Utley can only hope that he'll have yet another opportunity to frustrate CC Sabathia before this year's World Series concludes. But if the Phillies are going to create this opportunity, they will likely need their All-Star second baseman to start doing some damage against the other members of the Yankees' pitching staff.

While Utley's two-homer performance against Sabathia in Game 1 allowed the Phillies to begin this year's World Series in auspicious fashion, his latest two-RBI performance against the big left-hander wasn't enough to prevent the Yankees from claiming a 7-4 victory in Game 4 at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday night.

"Now all we can do is get ready for tomorrow," Utley said after he and his teammates saw the Yankees move one win away from ending this best-of-seven series.

While losing each of the past three games, the defending World Series champions have distanced themselves from the optimism they'd created on Wednesday, when Utley victimized Sabathia with a pair of solo homers that provided Cliff Lee all of the support he needed to claim a Game 1 victory.

But memories of that game were rekindled on Sunday night, when Utley drilled a first-inning RBI double and then chased Sabathia with a two-out, seventh-inning solo homer that cut the Phillies deficit to 4-3.

In two World Series games, Chase Utley has been the only Phillies player to do significant damage to Yankees ace CC Sabathia.
Utley 6 4 3 4
Rest of PHI 45 7 0 1
Utley is 0-for-9 against all other Yankees pitchers in this World Series.

Through the first four games of this World Series, Utley has gone 4-for-6 with three homers, a double and four RBIs against Sabathia. But against all of the Yankees other pitchers, the 30-year-old second baseman has gone 0-for-9 with three strikeouts and a walk.

"It's probably just a little luck," said Utley, who entered this series hitless in his only three previous at-bats against Sabathia. "He's tough. He's one of the tougher lefties that you're going to face."

Utley's seventh-inning homer set the stage for Pedro Feliz to create more of a buzz in Philadelphia with his tying, two-out homer in the eighth inning against Joba Chamberlain. But when the Yankees tallied three runs after Brad Lidge retired the first two batters he faced in the ninth inning, the Phillies were unable to mount another comeback.

So for the first time in 30 postseason games, dating to the 2007 National League Division Series, the Phillies find themselves attempting to stave off elimination. They'll send Lee to the mound for Game 5 on Monday night with the hope that he can help them push the series back to New York, where they would once again see Sabathia on short rest if a Game 7 is necessary on Thursday.

"We play as a team and play like every game is our last game," Utley said. "So [this is] not going to change how we go out there."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.