Did you see The Big Kahuna? It’s about salesmen. At one point young salesman Bob says something like it’s time for the others to throw him and the water and see if he can swim. Kevin Spacey’s grizzled veteran Larry Mann breaks it down for him: “I think you’re missing the point here Bob, we’re about to throw you off a cliff and see if you can fly.”

And somebody cue Joe Blanton. Starting in New York against Johan Santana for a team that suddenly can’t score runs with the Mets and Phils locked in a tie for first place in the NL East.

Blanton has made two starts against the Mets in his career. Here’s what his numbers look like:


IP

R

H

BB

K
15.0 0 8 1 10

Not bad. The two starts came in 2005 and 2007, which were Blanton’s best years. On June 14, 2005 in Oakland, Blanton went seven shutout innings against the Mets, allowing three singles and striking out four without allowing a walk. Oakland won the game 5-0. He wasn’t exactly pitching great coming into the game — he came into the contest with a 6.13 ERA having allowed 17 earned runs in his last 18 innings (8.50 ERA).

On June 23, 2007 in New York he tossed eight more shutout innings, allowing five hits and a walk. Ricky Ledee hit a sixth-inning double against him in that game. The Mets won the game 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth when Wright doubled off of Santiago Casilla to plate Ramon Castro. Blanton had been pitching much better coming around that start — he came into the game with a 3.43 ERA having allowed five earned runs in 31 1/3 innings over his last four starts (1.44 ERA).

Blanton (5-12, 4.96) faces lefty Johan Santana (8-7, 3.10) tonight in New York. Santana allowed five runs in four innings in Cincinnati on Thursday, allowing home runs to Adam Dunn and Edwin Encarnacion. For Santana it was the first time in 11 starts he had allowed more than one home run in a game. The Mets have lost six of the last eight games that Santana has started. He has made two starts against the Phillies this season, going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA but an 0.67 ratio. He hasn’t walked a batter in 15 innings in those starts. Utley is the only current Phillie to have an extra-base hit against Santana in their career — he’s 2-for-7 with a home run. Blanton last pitched on July 9, so he’s well-rested if nothing else. He hasn’t allowed a home run in his last three starts and has walked just three in his last 17 innings.