Utley's Jekyll and Hyde Season

Philadelphia has its own Jekyll and Hyde.  His name is Chase Utley.

Chase's 2006 will be remembered for lots of things.  With Bobby Abreu gone, some will remember this year as the year that the Phillies became Chase's team to lead.  Others will remember 2006 as the year of Utley's 35 game hit streak.

I'll remember Utley's 2006 for its incredible streakiness.

Utley has been anything but even keel this year.  In fact, breaking his season into his streaky chunks shows just how erratic Chase has been:

G AB BB/K BA OBA SLG OPS
April 3 to May 1 25 92 0.636 0.272 0.333 0.478 0.812
May 2 to May 25 21 85 0.667 0.388 0.480 0.635 1.115
May 26 to Jun 24 27 115 0.308 0.226 0.280 0.391 0.671
Jun 26 to Jul 30 29 124 0.688 0.419 0.475 0.758 1.233
Jul 31 to Aug 31 29 117 0.333 0.248 0.321 0.308 0.628

He's gone from mediocre over the first 25 games, incredible in the next 21, horrendous for the next 27, back to incredible for the next 29, and finishing with another horrendous 29.

Put another way, here are his streaks in terms of comparable players:

OPS Comparable Season
April 3 to May 1 0.812 Orlando Hudson 2006 (.813 OPS)
May 2 to May 25 1.115 Albert Pujols 2006 (1.107 OPS)
May 26 to Jun 24 0.671 Willy Taveras 2006 (.671 OPS)
Jun 26 to Jul 30 1.233 Babe Ruth 1930 (1.225 OPS)
Jul 31 to Aug 31 0.628 Adam Everett 2006 (.631 OPS)

From Utley, the Phillies have gotten 50 games at the all-time-great Albert Pujols and Babe Ruth level, 25 at the middling Orlando Hudson level, and 56 at the atrocious level of 2/3 of the up-the-middle combo of the Houston Astros.

What will September bring? In five games so far, here's Utley's line:

G AB BB/K BA OBA SLG OPS
Sept 2 to Sept 4 5 21 0.333 0.238 0.333 0.714 1.048

By OPS, Utley's looking pretty good so far in September. However, take a look at the first chart under the BB/K column. In both of Utley's awful streaks, he's had a walk-to-strikeout ratio in the low .300s. So far in September, he's in that ballpark as well. It's obviously a small sample size, but he's going to need to improve his eye at the plate over the next few weeks to replicate his Pujolsian/Ruthian stretches from earlier this season.

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