June 24, 2010 |
By pitching strongly into the eighth inning Thursday, even if it was against the woeful Cleveland Indians, Joe Blanton likely alleviated any anxieties the Phillies might have about their rotation. J.A. Happ has yet to show he's ready to contribute again at the major-league level, and Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick can be unreliable despite their successes. With Blanton on the mound, however, the Phillies won, 12-3, capping a three-game sweep of the Indians. They have won seven of 10 games and are regaining the confidence they had the last two seasons.
May 11, 2010 |
DENVER - Joe Blanton was 30,000 feet above flyover country when he first saw the news alerts on ESPN. Dallas Braden perfect through six . . . Dallas Braden perfect through seven . . . Finally, with one out in the ninth inning, the network flashed live to the game, where Blanton watched his former teammate with the Athletics make history Sunday, first getting Tampa Bay's Dioner Navarro to line out to leftfield, then Gabe Kapler to...
April 21, 2010 |
Six Hagerstown Suns were totally eclipsed. Joe Blanton overpowered them all in a 13-pitch, 11-strike, no-run, no-hit, two-inning rehab start last night for the Class A Lakewood Blue Claws in a dazzling display that indicated he may be back with the Phillies a lot sooner than later. "I don't know where [Phillies management] will take it from here," said Blanton, his right arm and shoulder swathed in ice after he emerged from a 1-hour workout following his brief but perfect mound performance.
April 2, 2010 |
Going into the season, Ruben Amaro Jr. has made no secret about the Phillies' lack of pitching depth. All spring, Amaro has left the door open for acquiring starters and relievers to store away at triple A in case of emergency. Problem is, Amaro said, there isn't much out there. So the Phillies' general manager has said the team will go with what it has into 2010. That group is dwindling by the day. "If we had another guy go down, we'd be scrambling," Amaro said on Thursday.
October 31, 2009 |
Sitting in rocking chairs on the back porch, sipping beers, the three friends would talk about it: What if we could all play in the World Series someday? In the Oakland, Calif., house they rented together as young teammates on the Athletics, Joe Blanton, Nick Swisher and Chad Gaudin allowed their late-night conversations to wander through many topics. But they often returned to the career goal that Blanton fulfilled last October, and the other two are realizing this month as members of the New York Yankees.
October 19, 2009 |
Joe Blanton is memorialized in the Hall of Fame. Really. When reminded of that, Blanton shrugged and said how nice it is, but he did so with an ironic grin because he never would have imagined it would be because of his hitting. After all, Blanton is a pitcher who will take the mound for the Phillies against the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park tonight. He will be opposed by Dodgers lefthander Randy Wolf, a former Phillie. As for Blanton's hitting?
September 23, 2009 |
The Phillies realize that a division title appears imminent, but they also trust the mentality preached by manager Charlie Manuel: Focus only on the moment, and success will come. "We're just going out and playing," said Joe Blanton, after throwing seven shutout, two-hit innings to defeat Florida, 9-3, in the first game of yesterday's doubleheader at Land Shark Stadium. "Honestly, that's the way I feel . . . We go out and just focus on the game at hand. " The clubs seemed to swap energy levels in the second game, which the Marlins took, 3-0. The Phillies managed just two hits in the nightcap off starter Anibal S?nchez, both by Chase Utley.
September 17, 2009 |
Chan Ho Park ascended from failed fifth starter to essential reliever this year, dominating while others in the Phillies' bullpen struggled all summer with injuries and ineffectiveness. Now, after feeling a pop in his right hamstring last night, Park might be lost when his team needs him most. Despite the superstition that prevents them from admitting it, the Phillies' focus this month is on playoffs preparation. And the issue that most threatens to undermine them when they get there is uncertainty in the bullpen.
September 6, 2009 |
Here are some of the things a blown save overshadowed last night: The end of the Phillies' deep offensive malaise. A lineup that overcame the loss of Chase Utley, out with a bruised foot. A quality start by Joe Blanton. Brett Myers' effective return from hip surgery. No matter what the Phillies do during closer Brad Lidge's bad games, their efforts are always marred by his struggles. With last night's 5-4 loss to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park, Lidge has squandered 10 save opportunities this season.
August 15, 2009 |
It had strong starting pitching, a roaring crowd, sparkling defense, and it turned on one Ryan Howard swing. In short, last night's 3-2 win against Atlanta at Turner Field kicked off the late-summer intensity portion of the Phillies' season. "Nah, it's just another night at the party," joked manager Charlie Manuel, before smiling and conceding "actually, it was a very good game. Our outfield played good. " After suffering a sweep at home against Florida last weekend and sweeping the Cubs in Chicago after that, the Phillies' purpose in this series is to prove they can dishearten one of their two divisional competitors.