Third time’s the charm for Joe Blanton.
On Saturday afternoon, the Philadelphia Phillies (22-13) beat the Milwaukee Brewers (15-21) 10-6 helping Blanton (1-2, 5.49 ERA) earn his first win of the 2010 season.
After the first of four 1-2-3 innings by Blanton, the Phillies came out swinging in the bottom of the second. With Hoover on first, Blanton laid down a bunt that was poorly played by the Brewers leaving everyone safe. Victorino followed up by hitting a blooper up the middle to drive in the first run of the game putting the Phillies up 1-0. With two men on and two out, Utley ripped a ball to right field that appeared to bounce off the top of the wall, take a hop off of Corey Hart’s foot, and take a funny path back over the wall. The play was scored a ground rule double, which brought a runner home giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead, but the official scorer admitted that it was the wrong call. The Brewers ground rules state that if a ball hits the wall, then hits a player before going back over the wall, the play is to be scored a home run.
By the end of the third inning Brewers pitcher Chris Narveson (L, 3-1, 5.29 ERA) had already tossed out 74 pitches. He would eventually go a Major League leading 130 pitches through 5 2/3 striking out 9 and walking 3. He gave up two more runs in the sixth for good measure on a 2-run jack by Victorino (8) who went 3-6 with 4 RBIs. Victorino, Polanco and Hoover ran the show, combining for 10 of the Phillies season-high 17 hits on the day.
The most damage either team would do came in the 7th. With Claudio Vargas pitching for the Brewers, Jayson Werth and Wilson Valdez each singled and were moved up to second and third on a wild pitch before Hoover doubled them in, bringing the Phillies up 6-2. Blanton helped his own cause by singling to center and Victorino answered with a double of his own driving in two more runs. The hit show didn’t end there, though. Polanco and Utley each drove in a run on a hit and a sacrifice fly, respectively, and the inning would finally come to a close 7 hits, 5 runs, and 2 pitchers later.
The Brewers didn’t waste any time tightening up the Phils’ lead. After letting up a double and a walk, Blanton mailed home a first pitch changeup right over the plate to Corey Hart who returned the favor with a three-run shot to left center bringing the Brewers within four runs of the Phillies. It was Blanton’s third homer allowed of the game and he finished the day with 7 innings pitched, giving up 5 runs on 6 hits, walked one, and struck out five on 104 pitches.
The Phillies made sure to tack on one more insurance run in the 8th before handing the ball to David Herndon to close out the 9th. After allowing three hits and a run with only one out to work with, Cholly brought in Contreras with two men on and a four run lead. After walking the first batter to load the bases, the Phillies held their breath as he worked back to back strikeouts to end the ballgame and earn his first career save.
In related news, it was reported after the game that Brad Lidge would be heading back to the 15-day DL (retroactive to May 10) with inflammation in his elbow. He could receive either a joint lubricant injection of a cortisone shot once the team returns to Philadelphia after tomorrows series finale against the Brewers. Antonio Bastardo has been called up once again to take Lidge’s place on the roster.
Jimmy Rollins also made his first rehab start going 0-3 for the Class-A Clearwater Threshers.
Cole Hamels (3-2, 4.53 ERA) takes the hill against Doug Davis (1-4, 7.56) for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball at 8:05 PM EDT.
Filed under: Game Review | Tagged: Antonio Bastardo, Bad Calls, Chase Utley, David Herndon, Injuries, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Long Ball, Milwaukee Brewers, Paul Hoover, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino |