Chase Utley wants to go down with Phillies’ sinking ship

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Phillies GM Ruben Amaro spoke to the media on Friday afternoon after the Jimmy Rollins trade was finally made official. Naturally, Amaro was asked about the possibility of trading second baseman Chase Utley as the team moves forward in its rebuilding process. According to Amaro, Utley still wants to finish out his contract in Philadelphia.

Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:

“I haven’t had enough of a discussion with Chase,” Amaro said. “The only discussions I’ve had with Chase and his agent about any of that is that Chase wants to be in Philadelphia. And so, we work through our offseason knowing Chase Utley will be in Philadelphia and be a Philadelphia Phillie. I don’t necessarily see that changing. Is it possible it changes? Maybe. But, again, regardless of that, we have to be listeners and think about ways to improve our club long term. Chase may or may not be a part of that. But right now Chase is a Philadelphia Phillie and he’s not going to go anywhere. He has no desire to go anywhere. Like I said before, he wants to honor his contract and that’s how we have to perceive it.”

Of course, Rollins sang a similar tune previously, also saying that he planned to finish out his contract with the Phillies. Utley’s tune may change as well, having lost his long-time double play partner. Utley released a statement following the Rollins trade, saying, “The team will miss his leadership on the field and his infectious smile, but most of all, I will miss our pre-game handshake.”

If the Phillies found a trade partner, they would still need to get approval from Utley, who has 10-and-5 rights.

Along with Utley, the Phillies could still explore trades involving Marlon Byrd and Cole Hamels. If they find teams desperate enough, they could even move Jonathan Papelbon or Ryan Howard.

On a night full of letdowns, Yankees’ defense let them down the most

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Game 4 of the ALCS was a gigantic letdown for the Yankees for myriad reasons. They lost, first and foremost, 8-3 to the Astros to fall behind three games to one. Their fans continued to act boorishly. CC Sabathia exited with an injury, likely the final time he’ll pitch in his career. The offense went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest letdown of the night, though, was the Yankees’ defense. They committed four errors, their highest total in a postseason game since committing five errors in Game 2 of the 1976 ALCS.

Make no mistake: the two three-run home runs hit by George Springer and Carlos Correa, given up by Masahiro and Chad Green respectively, were the big blows in the game. But the errors contributed to the loss and were downright demoralizing.

The first error came at the start of the top of the sixth inning, when Alex Bregman hit a cue shot to first baseman DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu couldn’t read the bounce and the ball clanked off of his knee, allowing Bregman to reach safely. He would score later in the inning on Correa’s blast.

The Yankees committed two errors in the top of the eighth, leading to a run. Yuli Gurriel hit another grounder to LeMahieu, which he couldn’t handle. That not only allowed Gurriel to reach safely, but Bregman — who led off with a double — moved to third base. He would score when second baseman Gleyber Torres couldn’t handle a Yordan Álvarez grounder.

Error number four occurred when Altuve hit a grounder to Torres to lead off the top of the ninth. The ball skipped right under his glove. Facing Michael Brantley, Jonathan Loaisiga uncorked a wild pitch which advanced Altuve to second base. Brantley followed up with a line drive single to left field, plating Altuve for another run. Loaisiga would throw another wild pitch facing Bregman but that one didn’t come back to haunt him.

The Yankees can’t control injuries, the behavior of their fans, or how good the Astros’ pitching is on any given night. They can control the quality of their defense. On Thursday, it was a farce, and now they’re staring down the barrel of having to win three consecutive games against the Astros to stave off elimination.