There is no sweeter sight than seeing one of Philadelphia's most beloved athletes return to the field for the first time all season. Chase Utley returned tonight in what the fans knew might be a terrible game for Phillies pitching. Raul Valdes was tonight's spot starter in what would be one interesting ballgame.
It didn't take long for Chase to make the impact on this team the way he has his entire career. Batting third, Chase hit a ball deep to right field, right after receiving a warm standing ovation from 45,000 of his closest friends. To follow, Carlos Ruiz mashed a ball to left field, going back-to-back. 2-0 Phillies.
With one swing of the bat, Michael McKenry continued his hot streak with a three-run homer to left in the second inning. 3-2 Pirates.
Raul Valdes only pitched two innings tonight in his start. He struck out two, walked two, and allowed that three-run homer.
Joe Savery wouldn't have an easy time following Valdes. Casey McGehee hit a solo homer to center in the fourth, giving the Bucs a 4-2 lead. With two men on, James McDonald singled to left to score Neil Walker.
In the fifth, Walker singled to bring home Drew Sutton, making it a 6-2 game. That's when Michael Schwimer would come in. Jose Tabata kept it going with a single to score Andrew McCutchen, followed by a single from McKenry which scored Walker. 8-2 Bucs, all runs charged to Joe Savery.
The Phillies started a comeback in the sixth and seventh, driving in five runs between the two innings. Highlights included a Jimmy Rollins triple, Shane Victorino RBI single, Hunter Pence triple, RBIs from Juan Pierre and Carlos Ruiz.
But, just as everyone got excited they were quickly deflated. Chad Qualls came in to pitch the 8th and was awful. Qualls entered and promptly issued a leadoff walk to Alex Presley. Presley advanced to second on a Clint Barmes ground out and then scored on a Drew Sutton double. Andrew McCutchen followed with a two-run home run, and the Pirates were up 11-8, deflating the crowd and the Phillies offense.
Tomorrow Kyle Kendrick and the rubble from this bullpen will face the Pirates best pitcher, A.J. Burnett who has burst back onto the scene and sits at 8-2 with a 3.34 ERA.