The Dodgers got to Philadelphia on Monday without having yet clinched the division (which they can thank their losing streak for) but all signs are pointing to that happening before they leave town.
Their magic number for wins is down to four, and losses by the Diamondbacks will only expedite the clinching process this week. So a sweep of the Phillies during this four-game series would wrap things up for them regardless of Arizona’s success or failure in the same span.
They got the hoped-for win streak started with an inside-the-park home run, so things look to be right on track.
THAT’s how you hit the ground running.— MLB (@MLB) September 18, 2017
A leadoff, inside-the-park HR for Chris Taylor! pic.twitter.com/3WFnPyuNtk
For one Dodgers player, that clinching game could be a bit uncomfortable. Chase Utley, who was traded from the Phillies to the Dodgers in 2015 after winning a World Series in Philadelphia in 2008, admitted to Philly.com that there could be some awkwardness celebrating in his old team’s clubhouse.
His full statement was,
“It would be different. We’ve clinched a few over in that clubhouse, so to do it over here would be a bit awkward at first, but it is what it is.”
“It’s a little bit different from last year, but it’s still a little awkward. For the amount of years that I played here, to suit up in this locker room is just different.”
Utley was welcomed back last season with multiple vivacious reactions from the crowd during his at-bats, and this year Philadelphia fans gave him a standing ovation during his first appearance at the plate.
Now batting ...— CSN Philly (@CSNPhilly) September 18, 2017
... No. 26 ...
... CHASE UTLEY. pic.twitter.com/2YmwzgAtpS
Utley is 39 now, so while it’s not out of the question for him to continue his career for another year, this could also be it — whether the Dodgers win the Series or not — as he’s currently on a one-year, $2 million deal.
While it could be surreal for him at first, there may not be a more appropriate way for the longtime Philly stalwart to say goodbye than celebrating with his new team in his old team’s clubhouse.
Everything comes full circle.