Chase Utley injures Ruben Tejada with takeout slide (Video)
Chase Utley put himself squarely in the middle of the NLDS rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets with a controversial takeout slide on Saturday night that injured Ruben Tejada.
The Dodgers had runners on the corners down 2-1 to the Mets in the 7th inning of Game 2 of the series when Howie Kendrick hit into a fielder’s choice. Second baseman Daniel Murphy flipped to shortstop Ruben Tejada, who was taken out by Utley on what seemed like more of a tackle than slide at second.
Not only did the Dodgers tie the game on the play, but Utley was ruled safe at second after umpires decided Tejada did not touch the bag when he caught the ball. Tejada left the game and was replaced by Wilmer Flores after Utley’s slide. X-rays revealed that Tejada suffered a broken fibula on the play and will be out the remainder of the season.
The Dodgers opened up the game with three more runs and hung on to win 5-2 to tie the series at 1-1.
“It was one of those awkward plays. Go in hard, try to break up the double play. Obviously I feel terrible that he was injured. I had no intent to hurt him whatsoever,” Utley said after the game.
Saturday’s affairs may be familiar for NL East fans. Five years ago, Utley, then with the Phillies, caused a controversy with another takeout slide on Tejada.
Note that after that particular slide, Utley asked Tejada if he was OK, indicating Utley was trying to do his job as a baserunner and not injure his opponent.
“Chase, he plays the game hard. He plays the game passionately. But there’s a thin line between going out there and playing the game hard and going out there trying to get somebody hurt,” Mets third baseman David Wright said at the time. “That’s a thin line. Nobody is going to push us around. We’re going to have our teammate’s back. I think cooler heads prevailed, but we’ve got to let them know that over on our side we didn’t appreciate it and that we’re going to go out there and have our teammates’ backs.”
The Mets will probably be looking for revenge on Utley. The only problem is the veteran is a bench player for the Dodgers and New York might not get a chance at payback.