Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Why not Mr. Utley in the lead-off slot? He's developing as a contact hitter and I think he'll start hitting for a decent average fairly soon. Sean Burroughs in San Diego has shown that the key to being a good leadoff man is OBP, OBP, OBP. According to the always knowledgable Bill over at Phillies Fan, Utley had a very good OBP (.360) up there in Scranton.
The Dodgers series: this will be an interesting test to see how good the Phils are. Home after a very successful 7-3 road trip ... just a game and a half back of the fish ... now is the time to shine. Unfortunately the Dodgers look surprisingly good this year. Gagne is always unhittable, but the Dodgers are hitting a lot better than they did last year due to the addition of Milton Bradley and the team's emphasis on OBP. It will be a good series but I give the edge to the Phils: they still hit for a higher clip than the Dodgers and the Phils pitching is better. I think the Dodgers have been profiting from weak competition over there in the NL West. A good sweep will probably propel them within a half game of the fish, or out in front.
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