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Preview: Chase Utley Returns As Phillies Host Giants

The Phillies announced today that they've activated Chase Utley from the DL and he'll bat second while resume his duties as starting second baseman. Utley's return comes as the Phillies kick off a pivotal series against the San Francisco Giants.

Currently the Phillies are tied with the Giants in the NL wildcard standings and both teams sit just a half game above the St Louis Cardinals. A series win here by either team would put them in control of their own destiny for a playoff spot. The Phillies also sit 2.5 games back in the NL East behind the Braves, who face the Nationals this week. The Nats took two of three from the Braves just 3 weeks ago.

The series kicks off with a tasty pitching matchup with the Phillies' other ace Roy Oswalt facing the one time ace/turned terrible and grossly overpaid/turned back to pretty good again but still grossly overpaid Barry Zito.

Here's a link to the McCovey Chronicles series preview from a Giants perspective.