Chase Utley could start against Matt Harvey in Game 3

Don Mattingly

BaronThe Dodgers arrived in New York on Sunday afternoon and had a brief workout at Citi Field following their arrival.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly held a session with members of the media at Citi Field, and said he felt the slide Chase Utley executed as part of his collision with Ruben Tejada in the seventh inning was legal.

“It was a hard, aggressive, legal slide to me,” Mattingly explained.

Mattingly said it’s possible Utley could start against Matt Harvey in game three at Citi Field on Monday.

Utley is 6-for-18 with a home run in his career against Harvey.

“I haven’t really set the lineup yet or put it out,” Mattingly said. “Usually don’t talk about it until the day of the game, but he will definitely be a possibility.”

Tejada legMattingly says the Dodgers are standing by Utley through what has evolved into a dramatic controversy throughout the industry, from the umpiring to the definition of the game’s rules.

“Our organization is proud of the way Chase plays. We love the way he plays,” Mattingly insisted. “He’s got a reputation for playing the game right, playing it hard, and we’re behind him 100 percent.”

Mattingly believes the issue has morphed into a story because a player got hurt, and not because Utley’s slide could be considered, “dirty” or even illegal.

“If nobody got hurt, it wouldn’t even be talked about hardly today,” Mattingly opined. “It would have just been a hard slide, and there would have been controversy back and forth if it was hard. But since someone got hurt, now it’s a story.”

Mattingly believes it’s fair to conclude Utley’s slide was in fact late, but insists it was legal despite Utley clearly sliding away from second base and directly into Tejada.

“It depends on what you look at as late,” Mattingly argued. “I’ve seen slides all year long. I’ve seen a number of them look just like thate. You’re trying to break up two. I think as you’re going full speed, you’re trying to break up two. He hit the ground first.

“I’ve seen people say it’s late. You could say it was late, but to me it was legal,” he concluded.

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