Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley has had a solid bounce-back season at age 37, and has been especially productive when playing against the National League East, the division he called home for 14 seasons with Philadelphia.
The trip to play the Marlins is the Dodgers’ final trip to an NL East ballpark this season, in stadiums where Utley has thrived.
Utley has had a pair of signature games, both amid some personal fanfare albeit for different reasons. On May 28 at Citi Field, his second game playing back in New York after his late slide in the 2015 NLDS resulted in Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada breaking his leg, Utley barely moved when Noah Syndergaard threw a pitch behind him.
After Syndergaard was ejected, Utley homered twice in that game including a grand slam, driving in five runs one day after picking up four RBI in the series opener.
The second signature game for Utley came on Aug. 16 in Philadelphia, his first game back since the Phillies traded him to Los Angeles. In a night filled with standing ovations during his at-bats, Utley again homered twice, including another grand slam and received two curtain calls as a visiting player in his former home park.
All in all this season, Utley has played 11 games in NL East parks, and he’s 15-for-47 with five home runs, two doubles and 17 RBI, hitting .319/.365/.681.
Utley is 3-for-10 with two walks against Marlins starter Jose Fernandez, including a single and two walks against him on Apr. 28 this season at Dodger Stadium.
Old friend Dee Gordon has had a rough follow up campaign after back-to-back All-Star seasons, including winning the National League batting title and leading the league in hits and stolen bases in his first year in Miami.
After hitting .333/.359/.418 in 2015, Gordon is down to .253/.293/.311 in 2016, and served an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. Since his return from suspension on July 28, Gordon has hit just .245/.296/.293 in 38 games, including six hits in his last 50 at-bats (.120).
Gordon was 4-for-19 (.211) with a walk in the four-game series between these two teams at Dodger Stadium from Apr. 25-28.