Blanton, apparently. I think I remember something about a guy with a name like that from the 2008 World Series. Not positive, though.
After solid performances with the Phillies in 2008 and 2009, Joe Blanton has been pretty awful since. In 2010 and 2011 combined, Blanton appeared in 40 games for the Phillies, throwing to an ugly 4.85 ERA with an ugly 1.43 ratio over 217 innings.
Last night he made his first start of 2012 and was very good, holding the Marlins to a run on three hits over seven innings. Backed by solo homers from Victorino and Wigginton, it was enough to get the Phils a win.
The Phillies are 3-3 on the year after beating the Miami Marlins 3-1 last night. The Phils take the series two games to one. Over the last two games of the series, the Phillies outscored Miami 10-2.
Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out three and dropped his ERA to 2.35 after two appearances.
Switch-hitter Jose Reyes was the first hitter of the game and grounded to second. Another switch-hitter, Emilio Bonifacio was next and he grounded to short. Righty Hanley Ramirez flew to Victorino for the third out.
Blanton got righty Giancarlo Stanton to ground to short to start the second. Lefty Logan Morrison was next and he flew to left for the second out. Blanton struck righty Gaby Sanchez out looking to set the Fish down.
Righty Omar Infante led off the top of the third and flew to center, but righty John Buck followed with a double to left. The pitcher Mark Buehrle was next and he hit a ball up the middle. Galvis made a fantastic play, diving to his right, fielding and throwing to first for the second out as Buck moved up to third. Reyes lined to right where the ball was caught by a sliding Pence to end the frame and leave Buck at third.
Two nice plays for the Phils in the inning. Galvis’s was a little more spectacular. He got a nice pick from Wigginton on a throw in the dirt as well.
Blanton had thrown 37 pitches through three innings.
He set the Marlins down in order in the fourth, getting Bonifacio, Ramirez and Stanton.
Blanton had a 2-0 lead when he started the fifth. He got the first two hitters before Infante doubled into left-center. Buck was next and he hit a ball into shallow right-center. Pence made a sliding effort, but didn’t come up with it. Infante scored from second to cut the lead to 2-1. Blanton struck Buehrle out to leave Buck at first.
Reyes started the sixth and hit a ball hard to second that Galvis couldn’t handle for an error. Bonifacio followed with a ball hit to short, where Rollins forced Reyes out at second but couldn’t get the relay to first in time to get Bonifacio. Blanton walked Ramirez on a 3-1 pitch, putting men on first and second for Stanton. Stanton hit a ball very hard, but Galvis made a great play to take it for the second out. Morrison grounded out softly to Blanton to leave both runners stranded.
Blanton set the Marlins down in order in the seventh, getting Sanchez and Infante on popups and striking Buck out swinging.
Qualls started the eighth with a 3-1 lead, making his third appearance of the year and pitching for the second straight day. Pitcher Steve Cishek was due to lead off, but lefty Greg Dobbs pinch-hit for him and Qualls set him down on a ground ball to first. Reyes followed and grounded out to third before Bonifacio reached on an infield single and Ramirez walked behind him. It put me on first and second for Stanton, but Qualls struck him out looking at a pitch that sure looked way out of the strike zone to me to leave both runners stranded.
Three outings for Qualls in which he has not been charged with a run. Two hits and a walk over three scoreless innings. He got a lot of help with the call on the 3-2 pitch to Stanton.
Papelbon started the ninth with the Phils up two runs. Morrison led off and lined a single to left. Sanchez popped out to Ruiz before Infante moved Morrison to second with a single into center. It brought Buck to the plate with the tying runs on base, but Papelbon got Buck to ground to Rollins and the Phils turned the double-play to end the game.
Second save of the year for Papelbon, who has allowed a run in three innings over three appearances.
Two scoreless innings for the pen. Qualls and Papelbon combine to allow three hits and a walk, but keep the Marlins off the board. Qualls threw 22 pitches in the game and Papelbon 12. Qualls has pitched two days in a row.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Mark Buehrle went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Mayberry (6) Wigginton (7) Ruiz (8) Galvis. Wigginton plays first with Mayberry in left. Victorino moves up from five to hit leadoff against the lefty. Hitting second in the order is still too high for Polanco, but it makes more sense against a lefty than a righty. Either Victorino or Pence is the best hitter in the lineup against left-handed pitching. Not sure you want either of them leading off.
The Phils went in order in the first and again in the second. Mayberry and Rollins both struck out, Wigginton popped to first and Pence, Victorino and Polanco went down on ground balls.
Ruiz, Galvis and Blanton all went down on ground balls in the third.
Victorino led off the fourth and hit an 0-2 pitch well out to left, putting the Phils on top 1-0. Polanco was next and he hit the ball well to, but Stanton took it in deep right for the first out. Rollins followed that with a single to left. Pence was next and he doubled into the left field corner. The relay throw got away in the infield and Rollins tried to score from third, but Infante got to the ball and threw home in time to get Rollins for the second out. Mayberry followed with another hit, lining a single into left to score Pence and put the Phils up 2-0. Wigginton went down on a fly ball to left to leave Mayberry at first.
More aggressive play from Phils running the bases, but this time it costs a run as Rollins tries to score from third and is thrown out ahead of the single by Mayberry.
Ruiz, Galvis and Blanton went in order in the fifth with the lead cut to 2-1.
Victorino tried to bunt for a hit to start the sixth, but Ramirez threw him out for the first out. Polanco followed that with a single into center. Rollins popped to second before Pence moved Polanco up to second with a single to right. Mayberry popped to Reyes to end the inning.
Victorino hit 308/424/608 against left-handed pitching. I wouldn’t have him bunting against lefties when leading off the inning too much. It was also the third time in the game he had led off an inning with nobody on base against a lefty. He only hit a solo homer in one of those at-bats.
Wigginton led off the seventh and hit a 1-2 pitch out to left for his first home run of the year, putting the Phils on top 3-1. Ruiz grounded to short before Galvis bunted for a single, putting a man on for Blanton’s spot. With the lefty Buehrle still pitching for the Fish, Thome hit for Blanton. Lefty Randy Choate took over for Buehrle to pitch to Thome and struck him out looking for the second out. Righty Steve Chisek came in to pitch to Victorino and got Victorino on a fly ball to left, leaving Galvis stranded.
Thome still looking for his first hit of the season.
Righty Edward Mujica set the Phils down in the eighth, getting Polanco, Rollins and Pence and working around a Stanton error on a dropped foul ball.
Victorino was 1-for-4 with a home run in the game and 4-for-11 with a walk and a homer in the set. 333/417/476 in 25 plate appearances for the season.
Polanco was 1-for-4 in the game and 3-for-13 with three singles in the series. 5-for-22 (.227) with five singles so far.
Rollins 1-for-4 with a single last night and 5-for-13 with an RBI in the series. He’s hitting 280/280/280 through 26 plate appearances (7-for-25 with seven singles and no walks).
Pence was 2-for-4 with a double in the game and 6-for-12 with a double in the series. 391/440/691 in the early going.
Mayberry was 1-for-3 with an RBI in the game and 3-for-11 in the series. 5-for-19 with a double so far. Pierre didn’t appear in the game. He was 1-for-9 in the series and is 3-for-14 with three singles on the year.
Wigginton 1-for-3 with a homer in the game and 1-for-4 in the series. 2-for-12 with a walk and a home run so far.
Ruiz 0-for-3 in the game and 2-for-10 with a double and a home run in the series. 6-for-16 with a two walks, a double and a homer run for the season.
Galvis 1-for-3 with a bunt single. 3-for-10 with two doubles and four RBI in the series. 3-for-20 with two doubles for the season. He and Pence are tied for the team lead in RBI with four.
Cliff Lee (0-0, 1.50) faces righty RA Dickey (1-0, 3.00) tonight. Lee allowed just one run over six innings against the Pirates in his first start, but didn’t get a lot of help as the Phils fell to Pittsburgh. Dickey allowed two runs on five hits and four walks over six innings in his first start of the year, which came against the Braves.