His first four pitches of the spring were balls.
"After the first hitter, it was really bad," Blanton said. "I wasn't sure if I was going to throw a strike."
He did, and actually retired the next eight Yankees he faced. Blanton said his control needs work, but he faced the minimum batters in three innings of the Phillies 7-3 loss, and that's not a bad way to start.
"I don't know what the plan was," Blanton said. "I just went out there and threw."
It's hard to make judgments after two Grapefruit League games, but Ben Francisco
had three extra-base hits in two games against the Yankees this weekend, and that counts for something. Maybe.
Francisco drove in all three Phillies runs in Sunday's loss. He doubled home Carlos Rivero in the seventh and crushed a two-run home run to left off Buddy Carlyle in the ninth.
Meanwhile, Domonic Brown was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. He was 0 for the weekend with a walk.
"It might take some time," Charlie Manuel said of Brown. "He's trying to get comfortable. It looks to me like he drops [his hands]. It's very important [that] you keep your hands up and keep your hands above the ball. The bat head stays above the ball. He'll be all right."
Both played the entire game Sunday, Brown in right field and Francisco as the designated hitter.
Manuel said he was concerned with Danys Baez
's lack of command in his spring debut Saturday when he allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning. The manager said Baez isn't pitching for a job. "When we leave here, I'd like to see better location and command. Yeah, he's a part of our bullpen. He's going to be called upon to pitch in critical times." . . . An intriguing pitching matchup was scuttled when Toronto's Kyle Drabek
was scratched from his scheduled outing Monday with neck soreness. The former Phillies prospect Drabek was supposed to face Roy Halladay
, the man he was traded for, in Dunedin, Fla. . . . Jimmy Rollins
played in his first game Sunday. He was 0 for 3.
Contact staff writer Matt Gelb at email@example.com.
Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/magelb