Joe Blanton was outstanding yesterday, throwing a complete game three-hit shutout as the Phils topped the Braves 4-0. Pitching in the early afternoon the day after a 15-13 marathon, Blanton needed just 88 pitches to get the job done in a game that took just two hours and two minutes.
First complete game for Blanton since 2007. Maybe his best start since joining the Phillies, and almost surely his best since September 22, 2009. He held the Marlins to two hits and two walks over seven innings that day and struck out nine. Maybe the best of his career since throwing a complete-game three hitter against the Twins while with the A’s on June 2, 2007.
The Phillies are 13-13 on the year after beating the Atlanta Braves 4-0 yesterday. They take the series two games to one.
Blanton got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing three singles, no walks and striking out six. He dropped his ERA on the year to 2.83, which is four-best among the six Phillies who have started a game for the team this season.
He started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead. Freddie Freeman singled to center with two outs, but Blanton got Dan Uggla to ground to short for the third out.
Blanton didn’t allow a base-runner in the second, third or fourth. He struck out Juan Francisco in the second. He got Pastornicky looking in the third and Martin Prado looking in the fourth.
Still up a run, Blanton got the first two to start the fifth, striking Francisco out again for the second out. David Ross was next and reached on an infield single, but Blanton got Pastornicky to ground to short for the third out.
Blanton got the Braves in order in the sixth. Pitcher Randall Delgado was the first hitter for Atlanta and hit the ball well, but Victorino made a nice running catch to take it for the first out.
Blanton had thrown 67 pitches through six innings.
He started the seventh with Polanco at third, Galvis at second and Wigginton moved over to first. The Braves went in order again.
He struck Francisco out for the third time in the game as he threw a 1-2-3 eighth.
Lefty Eric Hinske hit for the pitcher Livan Hernandez to start the ninth and struck out swinging. Bourn followed with a single into center, putting a runner on first for Martin Prado. Prado hit the ball hard, but Galvis speared his line drive at second and threw to first to double-off Bourn, ending the game.
The Phillies lineup against righty Randall Delgado (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Wigginton (6) Nix (7) Orr (8) Schneider. Polanco on the bench with Wigginton at third. Pierre in left after sparking a ninth-inning rally in game two of the set. Nix at first. Schneider catches the day game after a night game. Orr at second against the righty with the weak-hitting Galvis on the bench.
Rollins led off the game with a single to left and moved up to second when Pierre bunted for a single. Victorino was next and flew to right for the first out with Rollins moving up to third. Pence followed with a ball to center for the second out, deep enough for Rollins to tag and score, putting the Phils up 1-0. Wigginton struck out swinging to set the Phillies down.
Nix led off the second with a single to left, but Orr, Schneider and Blanton all went down behind him.
The Phils went in order in the third. Pierre again tried to bunt for a hit, but Francisco caught it in the air for the second out.
Pence struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.
Blanton struck out as the Phils went in order in the fifth.
Rollins, Pierre and Victorino went down in the sixth.
Pence and Wigginton both grounded out to start the seventh, but Nix was next and he a 2-1 pitch from Delgado out to center to put the Phils up 2-0. Orr singled to right, but was thrown out trying to steal second with Schneider at the plate.
For his career, Orr now has 16 stolen bases and has been caught seven times. Safe about 69.6% of the time. Might want to think about staying put.
Blanton reached on an infield single with one out in the eighth, but Rollins hit into a double-play behind him.
Pierre singled to left to start the ninth. Victorino was next and hit a 2-2 pitch from Hernandez out to right, putting the Phils up 4-0. Pence followed that with a double to left. Wigginton struck out for the first out before Polanco moved Pence up to third with a ground out to second. Galvis flew to center to leave him there.
First home run of the year for Victorino against a right-handed pitcher. He came into the game hitting 228/274/241 against righties.
Rollins was 1-for-4 in the game and 4-for-15 in the series. He’s hitting 240/280/270 for the year. Three extra-base hits, all doubles, in 108 plate appearances on the year.
Pierre 2-for-4. 2-for-5 with a walk in the series. 324/368/352.
Victorino 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the game and 5-for-14 with a home run in the set. 245/286/406 for the year. The list of Phillies that are on-basing .310 or less for the season includes Polanco, Pence, Victorino, Rollins, Mayberry, Thome and Galvis.
Pence 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI in the game. 4-for-12 with a walk and two doubles in the series. 263/302/404 on the year.
Wigginton 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 3-for-12 with two walks and five strikeouts in the series. 6-for-his-last-21 with six singles. 310/375/437 for the year.
Nix 2-for-3 with his second homer of the year. 5-for-9 with two doubles and a home run in the series. 342/419/658 for the year. He’s fifth in the NL in slugging percentage among players with 25 or more plate appearances.
Orr 1-for-3 in the game and in the series. 292/320/458 for the year. His isolated power of .167 is third-best on the team behind Nix and Ruiz. That might not even last all season.
Polanco 0-for-1 in the game and 4-for-11 in the series. 265/307/301 for the year (an isolated power of .036).
Galvis 0-for-1. 2-for-11 with a double in the series. 190/220/291 for the year. His OPS for the year peaked at .669 after going 1-for-4 with a double against the Giants on April 16. Since then he’s 8-for-48 with two walks and two doubles (167/200/208 over 51 PA).
Mayberry didn’t have an at-bat yesterday. He was 2-for-4 with a walk and a double in the series. He’s hitting 226/241/283 for the season.
Kendrick (0-2, 6.59) faces righty Steven Strasburg (2-0, 1.13) tonight. Kendrick has made two starts this year. The first, against the Diamondbacks in Arizona, was a disaster, but he was a lot better his last time out, holding the Cubs to two earned runs over six innings. Strasburg has made five starts on the year and allowed one or no runs in four of them. He allowed two runs in the other start. Strasburg has made one other appearance against the Phillies, which came on August 21, 2010.