Blanton Knocks Out Marlins

Blanton Rocky.jpg

Joe Blanton had a great turn around to his season tonight as he shut out the Marlins through 7 innings of 5 hit ball.  Blanton did his best Rocky impersonation and punched out 11 Fish; the 11 strikeouts mark a career high for Blanton in one game.  After the game, Blanton was quoted as saying, “Yo Adrian!  I did it!”   Ok, not really… ;O)

Ryan Madson pitched the 8th and did his usual; no hits, no runs.  Chad Durbin, on the other hand, came in for the 9th with a 5-0 lead and began to unravel.  After the 1st out, Durbin gave up a walk, a hit and another walk.  Scott Eyre was called in to clean up the mess but Ryan Howard committed his first error of the season on a ground ball that he threw into left field instead of to Jimmy Rollins; 2 runs scored.  Yikes!   

Brad Lidge then got the call to save the game and we all took a deep breath and swallowed a bottle of Tums.  Lidge walked the first batter he faced to re-load the bases.  Feeling ill, I quickly laid my head down on a pillow and prayed for mercy.  The next batter grounded out, but another run scored.  2 outs and the score was then 5-3.  Dizzy…SO dizzy…please make the room stop spinning!  Could Lidge finally get out of an inning without blowing a save and making me lose my dinner?  YES!  He struck out former teammate Wes Helms and relief washed over me like rainbows and sunshine :O)  Ahhhhhh!

Relief also found Shane Victorino today, who made amends for his base running gaffe in the 9th last night, where he was picked off trying to steal with Matt Stairs poised to try to tie the game up.  Tonight, Victorino went 4 for 5 with an RBI and all is right with the world again. 

Feliz delahoya.jpg
Pedro Feliz
continues to rack up the hits with runners in scoring position, adding 2 more hits and 2 RBI to his totals.  If Blanton was Rocky Balboa tonight, Feliz was Oscar De La Hoya.  Nice.

The Florida series is now ties 1 game apiece; game 3 will kick off tomorrow at 7:05pm with Brett Myers pitching.

In All-Star voting news, Chase Utley is in the lead for 2nd basemen in the NL again; Howard and Rollins are in 3rd place at their positions.  Raul Ibanez, who is VERY deserving, is in 6th place among outfielders – only the top 3 outfielders get to start the game so keep VOTING !!!  You can VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

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8 Comments

I’m glad that the Phillies turned it around last night. It is always great when players can redeem themselves!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

What a nice surprise to see Blanton pitch so well! If they’d blown a 5-run lead in the ninth, I think my screams would have reverberated all over southeastern PA. Thankfully that didn’t happen. :-)
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

As far as I’m concerned, Raul Ibanez should absolutely get a nod for the ASG.

I also think Blanton will come around. I’m not saying he’s gonna be lights out like this for an extended period of time, but he’s a solid pitcher with good stuff. I think the Phils pitching staff is just at a point right now where everyone is feeling the pressure to try and perform. They just need to relax and throw.

I was holding my breath as you described Lidge’s inning and I’m not even a Philles fan! Sure love when our closers give us heart attacks but end up saving the game. Whew.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Maybe Lidge was having visions of Pujols circa 2005 dancing in his head. Makes sense. Scary thought though if you’re a Phils fan ;-)
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com/

Not to take anything away from Blanton, but… Oh, who am I kidding? To take a BUNCH of things away from Blanton (like 11 Ks)– Who DOESN’T record career-high strikeouts against the Marlins? If I had a dollar for every time an opposing starter asked for the ball as he exited the game, I would be able to afford season tickets in the luxury suites. I compare that brilliant feat to winning a 400-meter dash because you’re racing against people who don’t have any legs.

Just thought you might consider waiting for this to happen against any other team in the world before you truly consider it a turnaround to Blanton’s season.

http://gamefish.mlblogs.com

GameFish – Considering Blanton’s ERA was 7.11 before this game AND he managed only 5 innings and 5 K’s against the Nats on 5/15, who REALLY suck (13 wins), I’d say this officially qualifies as a turnaround. It is sad that you feel like your own team sucks so bad that anyone can strike them all out. Also too bad that you haven’t followed Blanton’s entire season and therefore would maybe have a clue. Not to take anything away from your knowledge of Blanton and the Phillies, of course ;O)

As a Marlins fan, I can echo Gamefish’s frustration, but you are right, Blanton pitched well when he needed to and made the Marlins look foolish all night. Yes, the Marlins strike out a lot as it is, but if it was really as easy to strike them out as Blanton made it look, Moyer and Durbin shouldn’t have a had a problem doing it.
Forgive any irate Fish fan, they have been in a horrible slide for the last 6 weeks. I am optimistic as they come, and even I am really starting to worry.
http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/marlins_musings/

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