Dodgers News: Chase Utley Thrives In Hostile Environment, Evades Noah Syndergaard Question
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

When Chase Utley slid into and broke Ruben Tejada’s leg in Game 2 of the National League Division Series, there wasn’t an immediate opportunity for the New York Mets to extract revenge. Major League Baseball suspended Utley for two games, but he appealed and remained eligible to play throughout the NLDS.

Although Utley didn’t appear in Games in 3 or 4 at Citi Field, the crowd booed him mercilessly during pregame introductions and chanted “We want Utley!” on multiple occasions as the Mets cruised to a Game 3 victory.

Utley appeared as a pinch-hitter in Game 5, but given the late-game situation, his at-bat went off without issue. The Mets again didn’t seek retribution during a four-game series at Dodger Stadium earlier this month.

However, a delayed response appeared to come in the third inning on Saturday night, with Noah Syndergaard throwing a pitch that buzzed Utley’s back. Syndergaard, who stated after the game he didn’t purposely throw at Utley, was immediately ejected.

When asked if he believed it was intentional, Utley largely sidestepped the question, via Ken Gurnick of

“That’s a good question. Possibly, but I understand it,” he said.

Utley also didn’t take the bait during the FOX Sports postgame interview with Ken Rosenthal. The veteran infielder instead pointing to the collective effort in the Dodgers’ 9-1 victory. As for the hostile treatment he’s received in New York, Utley believes

“I think a loud, energizing environment gets the best out of you,” said Utley. “I’m fine with it. We had a lot of games in Philadelphia in the playoffs and the crowds were into it. It gets the adrenaline going a little bit and helps you dig down deeper.”

Utley is a combined 3-for-7 with one double, two home runs, including a grand slam, and nine RBIs through the first two games against the Mets at Citi Field.