Eat the Phillies: Joe Blanton’s Angel Food French Toast

You know, Joe Blanton isn’t fat.  He isn’t even big boned.  Dude is just a big guy.  Not every pitcher has to be a beanpole like Hamels or Halladay.  Curt Schilling is a big guy.  As @DavefromPhilly kindly points out every time he pitches, Jose Contreras will eat your car.  There is a long tradition of giant-pitcher-dudes in baseball.  Poor Joe has it tough because on his team, there are only beanpoles.  Hamels, Halladay, Moyer, Kendrick, Lidge, Madson, all skinny boys.  You stand them all up together with Big Joe, and he’s going to look like the kid who cheated at fat camp. Continue reading


Game Recap 05.15.10: Phillies 10 Brewers 6

AP Photo/Morry Gash

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.

Game Review 05.08.10: Phillies 1 Braves 4

AP Photo/Tom Mihalek

After Friday night’s performance by Jamie Moyer, the Philadelphia Phillies knew the odds were against them of witnessing something even half as special this afternoon.

In fact, they were presented with just the opposite. The Phillies (18-12) dropped game two of three to the Braves (13-17) with a final score of 4-1.
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Game Recap: 05.03.10 Cardinals 6 Phillies 3

AP/Matt Slocum

Joe Blanton walked back to the dugout to a standing ovation after being taken out of the game in the seventh inning, and rightfully so.

In his first start of 2010 after coming off a rehab assignment, Blanton pitched 6.2 innings with 10 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, and 4 Ks.  It may not look like a winning line (and in the end, it wasn’t), but the Phillies achieved a different type of victory tonight in that they were able to add a pitcher back to the lineup that can eat innings and is if nothing else, consistently consistent. Continue reading

Brad is “Ready to Go”

Getty Images

The Phillies announced this morning that Brad Lidge has been reactivated on the roster, sending Antonio Bastardo to the AAA Iron Pigs. 

Lidge made his final rehab appearance at AA Reading on Tuesday throwing two scoreless innings, striking out four on 34 pitches (22 for strikes) and said he was “ready to go.”  Tuesday was the last of six consecutive outings without giving up a run.

“Lights Out Lidge” may make his first appearance for the Phillies in 2010 this weekend in the highly anticipated series against the Mets.

In other rehab news, there is some speculation that Joe Blanton could be back in the rotation by Monday.

Game Review: 04.23.10

Friday night’s game started the way the fans hoped it would: Cole Hamels threw a quick 1-2-3 first inning on 9 pitches, the Phillies scored first that started with a double by Hamels with the RBI driven in by a Victorino triple in the third, and in the fourth, Jayson Werth scored a non-inside the park home run on a sort-of error by the outfielder for catching but not catching a fly ball before dropping it or bobbling it or not transferring it correctly or whatever it was he did. Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch overstayed his welcome on the field trying to wrap his head around the scoring decision and was eventually ejected by crew chief Dale “it is what it is” Scott.
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Game Review: 04.17.10

Pat Sullivan/AP Photo

Jamie, Jamie, Jamie.

Where do we begin?  The game started off the way no fan ever wants to see a game start: Jamie Moyer giving up five earned runs before the offense-heavy Phillies even had a chance to bat.

Say what you will about his age or that Ruben Amaro shouldn’t have signed a 45-year-old to a 2-year contract, or that he should be in the bullpen if the organization insists on keeping him on the roster, but Jamie Moyer is hardly to blame for the Phillies third loss of the 2010 season. Continue reading