Joe Blanton’s rough string of starts continued last night as the Phils fell to the Mets 6-3. After allowing six runs in five innings, Blanton has now strung together three miserable starts in a row. He didn’t get an out in the sixth inning in any of those outings, allowing 20 runs on 28 hits and three walks over 13 2/3 innings.
Opponents have hit .412 against him over his last three starts and .328 against him over his last five.
Last night’s start came on a day the Phils got news they’re going to need all the help they can get in the rotation. Roy Halladay was put on the DL with a shoulder strain and early estimates suggest he’ll miss six to eight weeks.
The Phillies are 26-25 on the year after losing 6-3 to the New York Mets last night. Coming off of a four-game win streak, they have lost two of their last three.
Blanton got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing six runs on nine hits and two walks. Six of the hits went for extra-bases, four doubles and two home runs. He struck out four.
Blanton leads the NL in total bases allowed with 127.
He started the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead. He hit the leadoff man Mike Baxter and Baxter moved up to third when Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with a single. David Wright was next and he lined a single into center on a ball deflected by a hopping Rollins. Baxter scored to tie the game at 1-1 and Nieuwenhuis moved up to second. Lucas Duda flew to center for the first out before Daniel Murphy grounded to second. Galvis went to Rollins to force Wright at second, leaving the Mets with runners on the corners with two down. Ike Davis singled into right, scoring Nieuwenhuis (2-1) and moving Murphy to second. Blanton uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Murphy to take third before getting Mike Nickeas on a ground ball he handled himself to end the inning.
Rollins usually catches that ball hit by Wright, which went off the top of his glove.
The game was tied at 2-2 when Omar Quintanilla doubled off of Blanton to start the second. Pitcher Jeremy Hefner bunted Quintanilla to third with the first out before a double by Baxter brought Quintanilla home, putting the Mets up 3-2. Nieuwenhuis grounded to first for the second out with Baxter moving up to third. Wright popped to Rollins to leave him stranded.
Blanton struck out Duda and Davis in a 1-2-3 third.
He got the first two in the fourth before Hefner hit a 2-1 pitch out to left, putting the Mets up 4-2. Blanton struck Baxter out looking for the third out.
He got the first two hitters to start the fifth before walking Duda. Murphy was next and hit a ball that Polanco deflected, but the Phils couldn’t get an out. Duda moved up to third and Murphy wound up at second with a double. Blanton walked the lefty Davis intentionally to load the bases and got Nickeas on a ground ball to short to end the inning.
Davis ended the day hitting .170 for the season. I wouldn’t walk him intentionally that much. Blanton walks Duda in the inning, but he’s walked just ten hitters for the year. His walk rate is the best of his career. He’s given up as many home runs for the season as he has walks.
Blanton started the sixth with the lead cut to 4-3. Quintanilla led off with another double and righty Scott Hairston hit for Hefner. Hairston hit a 3-2 pitch from Blanton out to left, putting the Mets up 6-3. Valdes took over for Blanton and got the next three hitters to set the Mets down.
Valdes has allowed three hits and a walk over 8 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out 11 for the season.
Diekman struck out Duda and Murphy in a 1-2-3 seventh.
Seventh appearance on the year for Diekman and six of them have been good. In the other he allowed four runs in an inning, which can get you a 5.68 ERA. Over his last six appearances he’s allowed two hits, no walks and struck out nine over 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
Savery started the ninth. Quintanilla singled with one out, but he got the next two to keep the Mets off the board.
Savery dropped his ERA on the year to 4.15 with the outing. After throwing to a 1.42 ERA over his first five appearances on the year he’s thrown to a 6.75 ERA over his last six, allowing ten hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings. Three off his last six appearances have been good and three bad.
Three scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow one hit and no walks and strike out four.
Savery threw 17 pitches in the game, Diekman 14 and Valdes 12. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row.
The Phillies lineup against righty Jeremy Hefner went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Wigginton (5) Victorino (6) Polanco (7) Galvis (8) Schneider. Wigginton plays first and hits cleanup after his six RBI night. Pierre plays left against the righty and hits second. Ruiz continues to sit with his hamstring. Victorino drops to fifth in the order.
Rollins led off the game with a double and Pierre bunted him to third with the first out. He scored on a wild pitch (1-0) before Pence struck out swinging. Wigginton followed with a single, but was left at first when Victorino flew to center.
Down 2-1 to start the second, Schneider tied it up at 2-2 when he hit the first pitch he saw out to right with two men out. Blanton grounded to the pitcher to end the frame.
Down 3-2, the Phillies went in order in the third.
Polanco singled with two outs in the fourth, but Galvis flew to center to leave him stranded.
Down 4-2, The Phillies went in order in the fifth.
Pierre led off the sixth with a single. Pence followed that with a double to left, scoring Pierre to make it 4-3 and taking third when Baxter mishandled the ball for an error. Wigginton grounded to first for the first out. Victorino struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch up near his eyes for the second. Polanco flew to left for the third, leaving Pence stranded.
The Phils can’t bring Pence home from third with nobody out as their four and five hitters both get a chance with less than two outs.
Righty Bobby Parnell started the seventh for New York with the Mets leading 6-3. He got Galvis and Schneider for the first two outs before Orr hit for Valdes. Orr grounded to first to set the Phillies down.
Rollins singled off of righty Jon Rauch to start the eighth, but the Phils went in order behind him.
Righty Frank Francisco started the ninth. Polanco singled with one out, but Galvis struck out looking behind him. He took second and then third on defensive indifference before Schneider struck out looking to end the game.
Rollins was 2-for-4 with a double. He has slugged .269 over his last 185 plate appearances.
Pierre 1-for-3. 6-for-his-last-13 with a double. One walk in his last 67 plate appearances.
Pence 1-for-4 with a double. 7-for-his-last-20 with three walks, two doubles and a home run. Not a factor last night, but he’s hitting 189/302/324 against lefties for the season.
Wigginton 1-for-4. Even with the monster day in game one of the series, he’s still hitting just 203/307/297 in May.
Victorino 0-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-19.
Polanco 2-for-4. 8-for-his-last-24.
Galvis 0-for-4. Among the 60 NL players with 175 plate appearances for the season, his on-base percentage of .257 is 60th.
Schneider was 1-for-4 with his second home run of the year.
Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.82) faces righty Dillon Gee (4-3, 4.92) tonight. The Phillies are just 2-5 in the seven games started by Lee, but 2-1 in his last three outings. Lee faced the Mets on May 9 in a game the Phils lost 10-6. The Phils started the seventh up 4-2 in that game, but Kendrick, Contreras and Sanches combined to allow eight runs over three innings. Gee started that game for the Mets and allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings.
PS: I updated the Start Log. Over the last 11 games, the Phillies have gotten four quality starts. During those 11 games, their starters have thrown to a 5.59 ERA with a 1.42 ratio while the pen has pitched to a 2.08 ERA and an 0.82 ratio over 30 1/3 innings.