The Phillies didn’t specify where Eaton was being sent in a Monday morning statement, saying that Eaton’s schedule was being worked out. Like Brett Myers in June, Eaton’s outings might be determined according to which of the minor-league affiliates are home.
A corresponding roster move to fill Eaton’s spot on the 25-man roster wasn’t announced, though left-hander J.A. Happ was pulled from his Sunday start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley after 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He was seen accepting congratulations from teammates in the dugout, which often means a promotion. The team can make an official move in time for their Tuesday game against the Nationals.
Eaton, 31, went 4-8 with a 5.80 ERA in 21 games this season. He had started 19 games before the acquisition of Joe Blanton pushed him to the bullpen, and he made two relief appearances over the weekend. (H/T Phillies.com)
Eaton has been sent down to the Minors. Please let it mean that it’ll lead to the Phillies eating up the rest of his three years contract and releasing him. I know he was given a lot of chances to improve over last year, but quite frankly, he blew it. Sure the offense didn’t help him in several games, but truth be told, he certainly didn’t help himself by not giving up runs when he didn’t need to. Yesterday’s game was, honestly, the nail in his coffin. The best the Phillies can do now is to take their medicine, admit that they had screwed up with signing him to that three years contract, and eat up what’s left of it and let him go. End of story. Hopefully, this will also mean a promotion back to the bigs for J.A. Happ, especially after hearing what he’d done after being sent back to the Iron Pigs. If he continue to go after the hitters in the majors as he did during his two-games stint before the All-Star break, the Phillies will have found themselves yet another stud in the rotation to go along with Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick (Say what you will about him, he at least keeps the Phillies in most of the games he has so far pitched. Kendrick just needs to find himself another good pitch or two that will help him get into the seventh/eighth inning.). Please, let it be so. Pretty please???
The Phillies would use a combination of the long ball and situational hitting to come from behind again to defeat the Braves as they win their first series of the second half, 12-10. It didn’t look that way at the start as the Braves would score two runs in the top of the first off of Phillies’ starter Joe Blanton. With two men on and one out, Brian McCann would hit a RBI single, scoring Yunel Escobar, who has earlier singled, making it 1-0 Braves. Mark Kotsay would follow with a RBI double, scoring Mark Teixeira, who has earlier walked, to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, with Eric Bruntlett batting, the rain would come down, delaying the game for over two hours. The long rain delay would force the removal of both teams’ starters, Blanton and Jorge Campillo. The Braves would increase their lead in the top of the fourth off of Adam Eaton. With a runner on second and one out, Eaton would give up a two-run home run to Kelly Johnson, his ninth home run of the year, scoring Kotsay, who has earlier singled, to make it 4-0 Braves. Omar Infante would follow with a solo shot, his second home run of the year, to give the Braves a 5-0 lead. The Phillies would then come back in their half of the fourth. With two men out, and a runner on first, Chris Coste would hit a two-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier walked, cutting the Braves’ lead to 5-2. The next batter, pinch hitter So Taguchi would then get on base with a pinch single. Jimmy Rollins would follow by working a walk. Shane Victorino would then hit a three-run home run, his eighth home run of the year, scoring Taguchi and Rollins, tying the game at five all. In the fifth, the Phillies will take the lead as Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the year, making it 6-5 Phillies. The Phils would then break the game wide open in the sixth. With Royce Ring now on the mound, he would be greeted by pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz with a pinch double. Ruiz would then go to third on a single by Rollins. Victorino would follow with a RBI single, scoring Ruiz, and sending Rollins to second to make the score 7-5 Phillies. Chase Utley would then strike out, making the first out of the inning. With Ryan Howard at the plate, Rollins and Victorino would perform a double steal, with Victorino just beating McCann’s throw from behind home plate. Howard would then hit a RBI single with the infield pulled in, scoring Rollins easily, and then scoring Victorino, as he knocks over McCann, as McCann tries to catch left fielder Jeff Francoeur’s throw from left on one hop, and then tries to turn around quickly to tag out Victorino, making it 9-5 Phillies. McCann would then lay on the ground for the next several minutes, with Victorino and Rollins, among others, looking to see if he was alright, before he is finally taken out of the game, and replaced by Corky Miller. Meanwhile, Royce is replaced on the mound by Blaine Boyer. Burrell would then fly out for the second out of the inning. Werth would then follow with a two-run home run, his fourteenth home run, to give the Phillies an 11-5 lead. Bruntlett would then end the inning by flying out. In the seventh, Rollins would increase the Phillies’ lead by hitting a solo home run, his seventh home run of the year, to give the Phils a 12-5 lead. The Braves would then make it close in the eighth. With Rudy Seanez on the mound, Kotsay would start the inning off with a single. After Francoeur pops up for the first out of the inning, Johnson would get on base with a walk, sending Kotsay to second. Infante would follow with a RBI double, scoring Kotsay and sending Johnson to third, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 12-6. Greg Norton would then load the bases as Seanez commits an error on his ground ball. Ryan Madson is then brought in to relieve Seanez. Gregor Blanco would then walk, scoring Johnson, while leaving the bases loaded as the Phillies now lead 12-7. Escobar would then pop out to Bruntlett in foul territory for the second out of the inning. Pinch hitter Martin Prado would then hit a double that a diving Werth would be unable to catch, scoring Infante, Norton and Blanco after it gets past Werth, making it a 12-10 Phillies’ lead. Madson would finally end the inning by getting Miller to ground out, third to first. In the ninth, Brad Lidge would proceed to nail down his twenty-fourth save of the year to finally end the ballgame.
Joe Blanton would get a no-decision thanks to the rain delay, as he pitches two innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Adam Eaton would also pitch two innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits. Clay Condrey would get the win as he pitches two innings, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 3-2 with a 3.72 ERA. J.C. Romero would go an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Rudy Seanez would go one-third of an inning, giving up four earned runs on two hits. Ryan Madson would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning, as he records his twenty-fourth save of the year, giving up no runs on no hits. Jorge Campillo would also pitch a no-decision because of the rain delay, going one and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on two hits. Jo-Jo Reyes would go two and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits. Julian Tavarez would take the lost as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. His record is now 0-3 with a 6.48 ERA.Royce Ring would pitch a third of an inning, giving up four earned runs on four hits. Blaine Boyer would pitch two-thirds of an innings, giving up a run on one hit. Buddy Carlyle would pitch an inning, giving up one run on one hit. Will Ohman would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits.
The Phillies (56-49) have finally won their first series of the second half as well as the short home stand, while also starting a two game winning streak. For the second straight game the Phillies’ offense would score ten or more runs, this time with them doing it with a combination of the long ball and situational hitting. Does this mean that the offense is back? I’m going to wait until after the next several series before saying yes or no. The next Phillies’ game will be played on Tuesday as they meet the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.
With the win, the Phillies continue to trail the Mets by a game, as they won their game against the Cardinals. The Marlins would drop to third place, a game behind the Phillies, as they lost to the Cubs. The Braves now trail the Phillies by six and a half games. As the Phillies take the day off before starting their series with the Nationals in D.C., the Mets go to Miami to start a three games series with the Marlins, while the Braves prepare for a four games series with the Cardinals.
The Phillies used situational baseball to come from behind to defeat the Braves after it looked like they had finally imploded in the top of the fourth inning. The Phillies would score the game’s first runs in the second inning. Ryan Howard would start the inning off by getting on first base with a walk. He would be followed by a double from Pat Burrell, which would put runners on second and third with nobody out. Jayson Werth would then follow with a ground out, third to first, for the first out of the inning, doing what the Phillies’ batters have been doing too much of lately, hitting a ball to an opposing player with less than two outs, unable to score the runner(s) on base. Eric Bruntlett is then intentionally walked to load the bases. Chris Coste would follow him with a two-run double, scoring Howard and Burrell, making it 2-0 Phillies, while sending Bruntlett to second. Cole Hamels would then bunt the runners over to third and second base respectively, while making the second out of the inning. Unfortunately, Jimmy Rollins would then end the inning with a ground ball to the pitcher. The Phillies would increase their lead in the third, as Chase Utley would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Shane Victorino, who has earlier tripled, to make it 3-0 Phillies. But then the roof would appear to fall in on the Phillies and Cole Hamels in the fourth. The inning would begin with Hamels giving up a walk to Yunel Escobar. Mark Teixeira would follow with a single, sending Escobar to second. Hamels would then walk Brian McCann to load the bases with Braves. The next batter, Omar Infante, would then hit a two-run RBI double into left field, scoring both Escobar and Teixeira, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 3-2, while sending McCann to third. Jeff Francoeur would then hit a sacrifice fly for the first out of the inning, sending home McCann with the tying run, while Infante stayed at second. Martin Prado would then hit a grounder to second that was stopped by Utley. But instead of getting back up, picking up the ball and throwing out Prado, Utley would look at Prado and tried to pick up the ball at the same time, and dropped the ball, committing the first error of the inning, and leaving runners on the corners as Infante moved up to third. The next batter, Mark Kotsay would then hit a RBI single, scoring Infante and sending Prado to second, giving the Braves a 4-3 lead. Mike Hampton then followed with a ground ball right to Hamels. Instead of taking his time and throwing the ball straight to Rollins at second base to start a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning, he would throw the ball away as he throws it to where Rollins had originally started out, allowing Prado to score, Kotsay to reach third, and Hampton to be safe at first, on the second error of the inning, making it 5-3 Braves. Gregor Blanco would then follow with a single, scoring Kotsay and sending Hampton to second, as the Braves increased their lead to 6-3. Escobar, who has originally started the inning, would come up for the second time, but this time he would fly out to right for the second out of the inning. Teixeira would then come up for the second time and cap off the disastrous inning by hitting a three-run home run off of Hamels, his twentieth home run of the year, giving the Braves a 9-3 lead, and what looks to be the final knockout blow to the Phillies’ season. Charlie Manuel would after that finally come out and take a very snake bitten Hamels out of the game, replacing him with Rudy Seanez. Seanez would then end the inning with one pitch as he gets McCann to pop up to Utley, although that almost became a disaster in itself as the ball almost got away from him as it came back down. After Adam Eaton have come into his first game since being sent down to the bullpen after the Joe Blanton trade and put down the Braves in the top of the fifth, the Phillies’ batter would go after Braves’ starter Mike Hampton as they used something that they have not done for a while, playing situational baseball. Rollins would start the inning off with a single. Victorino would then hit a grounder towards deep shortstop that would be picked up by Braves’ shortstop Escobar, who would end up having no play, thus becoming an infield single as Rollins’ speed would allow him to get to second. Utley would then follow them with a single that would load the bases with Phillies. Hampton would then be taken out of the game at this point, replaced by Royce Ring. Howard would greet Ring with a two-run RBI single, scoring both Rollins and Victorino, cutting the Braves’ lead to 9-5, while sending Utley to third. Bobby Cox would then come out for the second time in the inning, and replace Ring with Blaine Boyer. Burrell would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Utley, making it 9-6 Braves. Werth would follow with a single, sending Howard to second. Bruntlett would then hit a deep fly ball to center, but Howard would stay at second, instead of going to third. It at first look like a base running blunder, but the next batter, Coste would hit a RBI single in the hole between first and second, allowing Howard to score, making it now a 9-7 Braves’ lead. Greg Dobbs would then come up to pinch hit for Eaton. On a 1-2 pitch, he would crush the ball into the second deck in right field for a three-run home run, his third home run of the year, and his team record tying twentieth pinch hit of the season, scoring both Werth and Coste, giving the Phillies a 10-9 lead. Rollins would then come up for the second time and tried to bunt himself back on. He would instead be thrown out by Boyer. The Phillies would then hold on, as Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would combine for three shut out innings in which they would keep the Braves at bay, before the ball is finally handed over to Brad Lidge in the ninth, who would redeem himself for his previous night’s implosion by getting the Braves to go 1-2-3 for his twenty-third straight save without blowing it, breaking the team record that was originally set by Billy Wagner.
Cole Hamels would get a no-decision as he pitches three and two-thirds innings, giving up nine runs, four of which were earned, on six hits and three walks, two of whom would later score. Rudy Seanez would pitch a third of an inning, getting one man out on one pitch. Adam Eaton would get the win, as he pitched one inning, giving up no runs on one hits. Eaton’s record is now 4-8 with a 5.66 ERA. Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero would each pitch a scoreless inning, although Durbin would also pitch to one batter in the eighth, giving up only two hits (Durbin), while walking four. Brad Lidge would get a 1-2-3 inning, recording his twenty-third straight save without blowing one. Mike Hampton would also get a no-decision as he pitches four innings plus three batters, giving up six earned runs on six hits. Royce Ring would only pitch to one batter, giving up a single. Blaine Boyer would get the lost as he pitches an inning, giving up three earned runs on three hits. His record is now 2-6 with a 4.18 ERA. Will Ohman, Rafael Soriano and Julian Tavarez would each pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits to the Phillies.
I don’t know which one I am more shocked by, the implosion in the fourth inning, or the comeback in the fifth, using situational hitting. Seeing the Phillies collapse the way they did in the top of the fourth seems to show the way the Phillies have been screwing up so far this season, especially with Hamels throwing away the double play ground ball because he have been feeling frustrated up to that point in the inning, when he needed to just take his time and throw to Rollins at second for the second out of the inning, to lead to the end of the inning with a double play, and then to follow that up a few batters later by throwing up a home run pitch to Mark Teixeira in what, to me at least, seems to be the final collapse of the Phillies’ season. But then, to watch the team come back the way they did in the fifth inning, and doing it by using some situational hitting, something that they finally seems to be able to do, appear to show that the team isn’t dead yet. But, I’m going to wait to see if they can continue doing this for a while before thinking that the run machine is finally back and is now running once again on all cylinders.
The Phillies (55-49) will finish their three games weekend series with the Braves (49-54) this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Joe Blanton (5-12, 5.00), who is coming off a so-so start against the Mets on July 22, where he would go six innings, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ dramatic come from behind 8-6 win. This will be his first ever start against the Braves as he try to continue adjusting to pitching to National League batters while trying to help the Phillies get their first series win of the second half. The Braves will counter with Jorge Campillo (5-4, 2.83), who is coming off a win against the Marlins, where he went seven innings, giving up no earned runs on two hits. He has pitched four time against the Phillies, twice in relief and twice as a starter, being 0-1 with a no-decision against them as a starter, and 0-0 as a reliever, pitching a combine total of thirteen and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on twenty-one hits. He will be trying to do better than he did in his last start against them, while trying to help the Braves will the series.
The Phillies stayed tied with the Marlins in second place, both now traling the Mets by a game, as the Mets have lost their game with the Cardinals in extra-innings. The Braves still trail the two second place teams by five and a half games. The Phillies will be trying for their first series win of the second half.
Jamie Moyer defeats the Marlins for the tenth time in his career as the Phillies regain first place as they beat the Marlins, 4-2. The Phillies would score their first run in the second inning as Ryan Howard takes Ricky Nolasco deep as he would hit his major league leading twenty-ninth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, the Phillies would take a 2-0 lead, as Geoff Jenkins would hit a RBI single, knocking in Pat Burrell, who has earlier doubled. In the third, Chase Utley would get a RBI single, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled, to make it 3-0 Phillies. In the fourth inning, Jenkins would make it 4-0 Phillies as he would hit a solo home run, his eighth home run of the year. The Marlins would try to come back in their half of the fourth. The inning would start with Moyer walking Hanley Ramirez. Jeremy Hermida would follow with a single, thanks to some miscommunication among the outfielders, which would end up sending Ramirez to third base. Jorge Cantu would then hit a RBI single, to make it a 4-1 Phillies’ lead, scoring Ramirez, and sending Hermida to second. Mike Jacobs would then follow with a single to right that would leave the bases loaded. Moyer would then buckle under and get Dan Uggla to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, that while scoring Ramirez to make it a 4-2 ballgame, and send Cantu to third, would break the back of the Marlins’ rally, as it would be the first two outs of the inning. Moyer would then get Josh Willingham to pop out to Howard to end the inning. That would end up being the game’s final score as Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge would combine to one hit the Marlins for the last three innings, with Lidge recording his twenty-first save of the year in twenty-one tries.
Jamie Moyer would get the win, going six inning, giving up only two earned runs on four hits. His record is now 9-6 with a 3.90 ERA. Chad Durbin (1.2), J.C.Romero (0.1) and Brad Lidge (1) would combine to keep the Marlins scoreless for the last three innings, while giving up only one hit between them, while Lidge would get his twenty-first save of the year. Ricky Nolasco would get the lost, as the Phillies would finally be able to score some runs off of him. He would go seven innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 10-5 with a 3.78 ERA. Renyel Pinto would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Doug Waechter would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Joe Nelson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
The Phillies would start the second half on a winning note, although the offense would only get eight hits, but five of them would be for extra-bases (3 (2B), 2 (HR)). Ryan Howard would hit his ninth home run in his last thirteen games, as his adds to his lead in both home runs and RBIs (85). During the game, Charlie Manuel would get ejected for the second time this season because of his questioning the umpire’s call that Shane Victorino, as he attempted to bunt himself on, has offered at the pitch that hit him. The Phillies have in the meantime confirmed that the Blanton trade will send Adam Eaton to the bullpen, while Joe Blanton will be starting against the Mets this coming Tuesday.
The Phillies (53-44) will continue their three games weekend series with the Marlins (50-46) tomorrow with an afternoon game. The game will be played at Dolphin Stadium at 3:55 pm. The Phillies will start Kyle Kendrick (8-3, 4.47), who is coming off his second straight no-decision, this one against the Diamondback on July 11, as he goes six and one third innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 6-5 win. Lifetime against the Marlins he is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts. He will be trying for his ninth win of the year, while trying to increase the Phillies present winning streak to three games. He will be opposed by Scott Olsen (5-4, 3.77), who is coming off a victory over the Padres on July 9, where he went eight innings, giving up only one earned run on four hits, in the Marlins’ 5-2 win. He will be trying to get the Marlins back into the thick of the pennant race.
The Phillies’ win put them back into sole possession of first place, a full game ahead of the Mets, as the Mets lost their game to the Reds. The Marlins are now two and a half games behind the Phils in third place. The fourth place Braves are still six and a half games behind as they won their game. The Phillies will try to win their third straight series, while trying to increase their lead in the East.
The Phillies (52-44) will start the second half of the season with a three games weekend visit with the Marlins (50-45) in Miami. The first game of their three games series will be played at Dolphin Stadium and will start tonight at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound the veteran Jamie Moyer (8-6, 3.95), who is coming off a recent victory against the Cardinals on July 10, where he went seven innings, giving up only one earned run on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 4-1 win. He has already faced the Marlins twice so far this year, winning both starts. In those two games, he has gone a combine total of fifteen innings, giving up just five earned runs on nine hits. He will be going for his ninth win of the season, while trying to start off the Phillies’ second half with a win. He will be opposed by Ricky Nolasco (10-4, 3.70), who is coming off fifth straight wins, although his last start was a no-decision against the Dodgers on July 12, where he went six innings, giving up just two earned runs on five hits, in the Marlins’ 5-3 win. In those five wins, he would go a combine total of thirty-seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only six earned runs on twenty-four hits. He has already faced the Phillies twice this year, winning both starts, going twelve and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on eight hits. He will be going for his eleventh victory of the season, while also trying to set the tone for the Marlins’ second half, especially after Andrew Miller has just been put on the disabled list.
As the Phillies get ready to start the second half, they have the knowledge that, like it or not, they are a rather good second half team. They also know that, with the Blanton trade, they now have an overabundance of starters, although not all of them are presently good (Adam Eaton and Brett Myers). The team hopes that either a returning Myers or the newcomer Blanton will become their number two starter, to help balance their ace Cole Hamels, while Jamie Moyer and a continuing to improve and impress Kyle Kendrick will become their no. 3 and 4 pitchers, respectively. And it is rather encouraging to learn that J.A. Happ, in his first start after being sent back to Lehigh Valley, has made a very strong statement to bring him back to the Majors, as he shut down the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in seven innings of scoreless baseball. At this point, the odd men out appear to be Eaton and Myers, with Eaton being the most in danger of saying good bye to Phillies’ pinstripes at the moment. Myers would be next, especially as long as he continues to be a headcase if he doesn’t show any improvement after coming back from the Iron Pigs and Reading. But with all that said and done, the Phillies still need to find a new reliever, preferably a leftie, to help the bullpen pick up the slack while Tom Gordon is still out and to help take some of the pressure off him when he returns. Lastly, hopefully the All-Star break will have done most of the players some good, especially Jimmy Rollins, who the Phillies need to get on base to help jump start the offense. (Jay-Ro, a word of advice, please lay off the first few pitches that are thrown at you, unless you are very, very sure that you can hit it away from a fielder. That’s all I’m asking. Be more selective at the plate. Oh, and Ryan Howard, will you please stop swinging at pitches that you can’t reach. Please???? The sooner you do, the sooner the pitchers will stop throwing their junk at you.)
The Phillies will begin their second half now tied for first place with the Mets, who will be continuing a four games series with the Reds in Cincinnati. The third place Marlins are trailing both teams by a game and a half as they prepare to host the visiting Phillies. The fourth place Braves trails the two division leaders by six and a half game as they prepare to host the Nationals for three games. The Phillies hope to perform better against Eastern Division rivals that are not the Braves, while trying to get back sole control of first place against the presently streaking Mets and the pesky fish.
“I don’t know what the percentage is of trade rumors that actually happen, but I do know the percentage when it comes to me is zero up to now,” he wrote. “I’m not saying I don’t acknowledge it’s possible I’ll get traded, but I just kind of ignore it.”
That percentage went up exponentially on Thursday evening, as the right-hander found a new home in Philadelphia, and the Phillies landed a starter after missing out on CC Sabathia and Rich Harden. The Phils sent prospects Adrian Cardenas, Josh Outman and Matthew Spencer to Oakland for the workhorse.
Blanton, 27, who had been spending his All-Star break in Nashville, Tenn., expects to fly to Florida on Friday. Scheduled to pitch on Friday for the A’s, he could start on Wednesday, with right-hander Adam Eaton expected to move to the bullpen.
The Phillies could get creative and start Blanton on Saturday, keeping him in line to start the week after against the Mets. He hasn’t allowed a run against the Mets in 15 innings. The important thing is that Philadelphia added what it hopes is an important piece to a division championship.
The teams announced the deal on Thursday, ending nearly 16 months of speculation regarding Blanton, who is 5-12 with a 4.96 ERA in 20 starts for Oakland. He joins fellow pitchers Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin in an exodus from the A’s. They were dealt to the Cubs.
“That’s the thing about being with the Oakland A’s, you tend to be in rumors a lot,” Blanton said. “I just took the approach that I didn’t pay a lot of attention. I was with the team until told otherwise. Now, I’ve been told otherwise. I’m really excited about the situation I’m coming into. They have a great team.”
Blanton is no stranger to the Phillies, besting them on June 24. He limited Philadelphia to one run on four hits in seven innings.
The victim of the seventh-lowest run support average in the AL, Oakland’s Opening Day starter enters a situation in which the team hopes he can continue to pitch deep in games.
Blanton will have to adjust to home games in Citizens Bank Park, an unkind place for pitchers. For his career, Blanton had a 3.79 ERA in 24 starts at McAfee Coliseum, with its expansive foul territory, and a 4.78 ERA in 23 road starts.
“I feel as a pitcher that sometimes the park doesn’t make a huge difference,” Blanton said. “Obviously, when you get into a pitcher’s park, there’s certain things, foul territory, the ball not traveling, that can work to your advantage, but if you do your job, keep hitters off balance, and keep the ball on the ground, it shouldn’t make any difference.”
“He’s a guy who we had an interest in over time,” assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle said. “One of the things that jump out with our scouts is what a competitor he is. He wants to stay out there, and give you innings, let your bullpen bounce back. We’re obviously stated for a while that we looked to improve our starting rotation. He was attractive for a few reasons.”
His status is one of those reasons. Blanton can’t become a free agent until after the 2010 season, making the Phillies more comfortable losing a top prospect like Cardenas, and a left-handed pitcher in Outman.
Cardenas, a supplemental first-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, was one of the organization’s top prospects, and was hitting .309 with four homers and 23 RBIs for Class A Clearwater. He was trade bait almost from the day he was drafted, as his prime position is second base, currently occupied by Chase Utley.
Outman was selected as a 10th-round pick in 2005 and had been pitching in relief at Double-A Reading, going 4-2 with a 3.22 ERA in 28 relief outings. Spencer, an outfielder and a third-round pick in 2007, was batting .249 with six homers and 41 RBIs at Clearwater.
Blanton is the third second-half starting pitching acquisition in as many seasons, joining Kyle Lohse (2007) and Jamie Moyer (2006). Talks for him heated up in the past week, after the Phillies had been unable to land Sabathia.
Coming on the eve of the start of the second half might be a good omen for Philadelphia. Blanton has a career ERA of 4.05 in the second-half, compared to 4.37 in the first half.
“I feel that’s one of my bigger strengths,” Blanton said. “I’m a guy who wants to stay out there as long as they’ll let me go. When I get halfway, I don’t like to fall down the mountain, I like to keep climbing it.”
Added Arbuckle: “We feel his makeup is going to fit in well in a pennant race.” (H/T Phillies.com)
I am so happy right now that I’m not going to have any sleep less nights over his present win-lost record or his ERA. If he pitches as well against the rest of the NL as he did against our boys back on June 24 in Oakland, I’ll be satisfied. And it would seem that it won’t hurt us down on the farm with the trio that we’d gave up for him, and it’ll get Eaton out of the starting rotation. Hey, what’s not to like about this overall? YAAAAHHHHHOOOOO!!!! The mystery idiots seems to have finally done something right for a change. Hey, while we’ll doing the right thing, guys, how about a new reliever to help set up things in the bullpen and signing Pat Burrell to a brand spanking new contract? PLEASE!!!!!
Too bad this comes in the wake of the Mets tying the Phillies for first place in the East after defeating the Reds in the bottom of the ninth. Gee, way to go, Cincy!!!!
The old Adam Eaton of late ’07 might have returned as the Phillies have lost to the Diamondbacks, 10-4. The D-backs would score first as Chad Tracy would hit a RBI single, knocking in Stephen Drew, who has earlier singled, giving the D-backs a 1-0 lead. Mark Reynolds then hit into a force out, third to second, scoring Conor Jackson, who has earlier singled, to make it 2-0 Arizona. The Phillies would tie it in the third as Shane Victorino hit his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot off of D-backs’ starter, Randy Johnson, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier walked. But then the old Adam Eaton would reappear in the top of the fourth. After easily getting out the first two batters, Eaton would give up a single to Alex Romero. Robby Hammock would follow with a walk, moving Romero to second. Johnson would then come to the plate, and after getting the count to go to 3-2, after trailing 1-2, would hit a two-run double to left, scoring both Romero and Hammock, giving the Diamondbacks a 4-2 lead. Drew then walks. Jackson would then follow with his own double to left, scoring Johnson to make it 5-2 D-backs, while moving Drew to third. Eaton then intentionally walked Orlando Hudson to load the bases. He would also be the last batter he would face, as Charlie Manuel replaces him with R.J. Swindle. Swindle is greeted by a single from Tracy, scoring both Drew and Jackson, making it 7-2 D-backs, while sending Hudson to third. The next batter, Reynolds, who has started the inning, then hit a three-run home run off of Swindle, his nineteenth home run of the year, to give the D-backs a commanding 10-2 lead. After giving up a single to Chris Young, Swindle would finally end the inning by getting Romero to fly out. In the fifth, the Phillies would shorten the lead as Swindle gets his first career RBI by grounding out to the right side of the infield, second to first, scoring Eric Bruntlett, who has earlier doubled, and has gone to third on a Ruiz ground out, making it 10-3, D-backs. Victorino then follows with his fifth home run of the year, a solo shot, also off of Johnson, making it 10-4 D-backs. And that would be the game as both team would not be able to score any more runs, with the game ending in a D-backs’ victory as Micah Owings would get the Phillies to go down 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Adam Eaton took the lost, as it appears that the Eaton of late ’07 has returned. He would only go three and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 3-8 with an ERA of 5.71. R.J. Swindle pitches one and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits. Rudy Seanez would go two and two-thirds innings, giving up no runs on one hits. Clay Condrey would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning. Randy Johnson would get the win as he goes six innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits. His record is now 6-7 with a 5.23 ERA. Leo Rosales would pitch a scoreless, hitless inning while Micah Owings would pitch two shut out innings.
The Phillies’ offense was for the most part unable to handle Randy Johnson, as usual, while Adam Eaton got nailed in the fourth inning, after the Phillies were able to tie the score in the third inning. It seems that with the last two starts that the Adam Eaton who was pitching in the last few months of ’07 has returned, especially as Eaton allowed himself to not get out of the inning after giving up a hit to Alex Romero, instead of just going after the following batter. Giving up the double to Randy Johnson, after getting ahead made it worst as he appear to fool around with Johnson before he threw the pitch that Johnson drilled to left for a double, knocking in two runs. If the late ’07 Eaton has returned, the Phillies are going to be in a lot of trouble while he’s on the mound. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m starting to think that someone needs to nip this in the bud before that happens.
The Phillies (51-44) will play the final game of their three games set with the Diamondbacks (47-47, 1st National League West) tomorrow afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.18), who is coming off a lost against the Cardinals on July 8, where he would go seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on only three hits, in the Phillies’ 2-0 lost. He will for the second time be trying to get his tenth win of the year, while also trying to end the first half for the Phillies on a winning note. He will be countered by Brandon Webb (13-4, 3.27), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on July 8, where he went six innings, giving up no runs on six hits, in the D-backs’ 2-0 victory. This will be his second start against the Phils, having defeated them in his previous start on May 8, having gone all nine innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits, in the D-backs’ 8-3 win. He will be trying to increase his major leaague lead in wins, while trying to end the Diamondbacks’ first half on a winning note.
The Phillies’ lead, thanks to the lost, has now shrunk to half a game as the Mets has won their eighth game in a row while the Phillies were losing to the D-backs. The Marlins are now trailing by a game, as they prepare for their game with the Dodgers, while the Phillies’ lead against the Braves is now seven games as they prepare to meet the Padres. The Phillies hope to end the first half of the season on a high note while keeping their lead in the National League East before they begin the second half with a three games series against the Marlins in Miami.