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With five World Series homeruns, Philly’s Utley is marked man.

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Will Utley get plunked tonight?In a blog posted at 3 a.m., former New York Yankees pitcher David Wells bluntly described how he would handle Philadelphia’s Chase Utley, the new co-owner of the World Series’ homerun record: “[He] needs to kiss the Yankee Stadium dirt tonight.”

But Wells’ plan will be hard to implement.

After two hit-by-pitches in Game 3, Alex Rodriguez was plunked again in Game 4 by Philadelphia’s Joe Blanton. Rodriguez hadn’t shown signs of his ALCS dominance, yet umpires were incredibly quick to issue warnings to both benches.

To both teams, the message was clear: Stay away from the big bats or you’ll get tossed.

And there isn’t a bigger bat in Philadelphia’s lineup than Chase Utley. In the World Series thus far, Utley owns a .333 average to go along with five homeruns, eight RBI, and a .429 on-base percentage. It’s a postseason series for the record books and one that makes Utley a marked man.

It should be almost impossible to knock him down without a warning being issued. And if he gets plunked, an ejection should be the foregone conclusion.

I wouldn’t look for New York’s Andy Pettitte to be the one to send the message tonight.

At his advanced age, he’s a control pitcher; every umpire on the field knows this.

But Utley has led the league in hit-by-pitches three times; every umpire on the field also knows this.

A hit-by-pitch could go either way, for Pettitte or against Pettitte. That’s a chance I don’t think Joe Girardi is willing to take, especially with a shaky bullpen and a championship trophy hanging in the balance.

In seven regular season at bats versus Pettitte, Utley stroked just one hit, good for a sloppy .143 average. In Game 3, Utley posted an 0-fer against Pettitte and didn’t reach base. Thus far, Pettitte is the only pitcher to neutralize Philadelphia’s biggest threat.

I’m not looking for the Utley to even be in the Yankee’s game plan. I’m expecting him to get worked away most of the night with Pettitte pitching around him for the first six innings.

And while having ducks on the pond is never something you want to do, it’s more desirable than the possible ejection of MLB’s best postseason pitcher.

Make Ryan Howard show up. Make Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez press and swing at pitches they’d normally avoid.

Trust shortstop Derek Jeter and second baseman Robinson Cano to turn the double play (43 percent of Pettitte’s pitches become groundballs).

Believe in the offense. Even when it seemed like the Yankees were all-but dead in Game 5, they took the wind out of Philadelphia’s sails by scoring 5 runs in the final two innings.

Pettitte should not brush Utley back in the first inning or even think about plunking him until the game is out of Philadelphia’s control.

Leave the pigheadness to Pedro Martinez.

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