Posts Tagged ‘Joe Blanton’

The Mind Boggling Case of Joe Blanton

August 3rd, 2012 by Mike H. | Comments Off on The Mind Boggling Case of Joe Blanton | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Here’s something to think about when referring to Joe Blanton and why the Phillies should have gotten more than a bag of used balls at the deadline. While in red pinstripes, Blanton has been a significantly better pitcher in the second half compared to the first half.

  • 2009 – 2011 First Half: 8-11 with a 5.65 ERA in 191.1 IP. That’s the equivelant of a full baseball season.
  • 2009 – 2011 Second Half: 14-5 with a 3.37 ERA in 214.0 IP. That’s the equivelant of a more than solid baseball season.

Blanton has definitely been a second half pitcher, and I don’t blame for Ruben Amaro Jr for not just taking slop in return for him. Hopefully Blanton will be able to be traded before the end of August for something as opposed to gaining nothing if he leaves as a free agent this winter.

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Keep Cole, Sell the Rest

July 22nd, 2012 by AmyMac | Comments Off on Keep Cole, Sell the Rest | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

By Amy McGinnis

After the All-Star Break, the Phils took four of five games, and some of us thought “Sweet baby Jesus, they’re getting their shit together!” As soon as I uttered that sentence (because, clearly, I’m referring to myself when I say “we” are foul-mouthed), Jonathan Papelbon threw the next game right down the crapper.  The evolution of my commentary during Wednesday’s game can be summed up like this: I’m excited to see Lee and Kershaw —> Some runs would be super right about now —> I hope Papelbon is happy when I take him to court for distress and I sue him for $58 kajillion —> So this is what Schilling felt like in ’93.

It took me awhile to shake the rage I felt toward Papelbon, but I let it go in time for Friday night’s game at home against San Francisco.  My youngest daughter Olivia (she’s four) was excited for her very first Phillies game.  She had fun, but wasn’t a fan of Brandon Crawford’s grand slam in the sixth inning.  She told me “Everyone is mad at him,” meaning Crawford.  I replied, “I know, sweetie.  But you know who we’re mad at? We’re mad at Vance Worley.  And we’re mad at Vance Worley because he should know better than to throw every single pitch right down the middle like that, right?” I saved the extensive spewing of expletives for when she was in bed.

Today was a new day.  My man Cole was taking the mound and I was going to forget all about the nightmare from last night.  Right? Not so much.  A few notable moments from today’s game include:

  1. Shane Victorino earned his 1,000th career hit.  (Can he go now?)
  2. Cole Hamels decided to take offense into his own hands and he went yard.  His first ever homerun should have the subtitle, “I Seriously Hope You Don’t Think I’ll Accept Matt Cain Money.” Pay the man, for shit’s sake.
  3. Ryan Howard hit a three run bomb into right-center field. 

While I was very excited to see the Hamels – Cain matchup today, things definitely didn’t turn out the way I had expected.  I figured Cole would hold the Giants to a run or two, and the Phils’ lineup would get mowed down by Matt Cain.  Hamels ended up with this line: 7.2IP 10H 5ER 3BB 6K, and a season-high pitch count.  Phils lost 6-5 in extras, bringing the losing streak to three.  Philadelphia returned from the ASB winning four of five games … then they went right back to pissing me the hell off.  Was this Cole’s last start at home as a Phillie? I don’t know.  Could you blame the man for walking away from this disaster? I realize that I am quite biased, but to be very honest, Hamels is the one player I’d keep at this point.  I’d keep Chooch, too, if he weren’t older than dirt (says the woman who is thirteen days younger than Ruiz).  Keep Cole, give the man whatever he wants, sell the rest, and start over.  That would be my plan.


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Phils Stretch Their Streak to Four

July 19th, 2012 by AmyMac | Comments Off on Phils Stretch Their Streak to Four | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

4 Games in a Row...What's Happening??

By Amy McGinnis

Cliff Lee will take the mound this afternoon in Los Angeles as the Phils look to sweep the Dodgers (not a typo) and continue their winning streak (also not a typo).

On Monday night, Joe Blanton pitched a solid eight innings – I love seeing that side of Big Joe – and Papelbon shut it down in the ninth.  Blanton gets a win, Papelbon secures his twentieth save, and Ryan Howard hits his first home-run for 2012.  Not a bad night.


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A 7-6 Walk-off Win for the Phils

June 21st, 2012 by AmyMac | Comments Off on A 7-6 Walk-off Win for the Phils | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

By Amy McGinnis

Last night’s game at Citizens Bank Park illustrated one of my favorite parts about a baseball game: It’s not over ’til it’s over.

Joe Blanton had a shaky start, and managed to give up three home-runs.  The back end of his performance, though, was pretty good.  He really settled in and retired the last eleven batters he faced.

Offensively speaking, Hunter Pence (first inning) and Jimmy Rollins (fourth inning) each had an RBI.  Michael Martinez hit a three run home-run (not a typo) in the bottom of the second inning.  We went into the ninth inning tied 5-5, until Papelbon (who ended up with the win) let up a run.

About as soon as the bottom of the ninth inning began, Phils had two outs.  I’ll be honest; it didn’t look good; I knew it wasn’t over, though.  Ty Wigginton singled to left, and we had ourselves a baserunner.  Hunter Pence then cracked the ball into the corner of left field … Wigginton scored, tying the game, and Pence was on second base.  Rafael Betancourt intentionally walked Carlos Ruiz.  Maybe it was to ensure Chooch didn’t get beamed with another pitch, because the IBB strategy didn’t work out well for Colorado in the end.

Shane Victorino hit a ground ball to shortstop Marco Scutaro, and it would have been the end of the ninth inning if Vic hadn’t hauled his ass down the basepath.  “You bust your behind down the line, and anything can happen,” said Victorino.  That’s what I like to see, and it’s what I like to hear:  hustle until the very end.


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Phils Win Despite Blanton’s Blunders

May 25th, 2012 by AmyMac | Comments Off on Phils Win Despite Blanton’s Blunders | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

By Amy McGinnis

Last night’s game in St. Louis was a great example of why I love baseball.  After just two innings, the Phils had a six run lead; the Cardinals’ offense started to heat up just as Joe Blanton started to unravel, though, and soon enough, the lead was gone.  Just like that – gone.  I’m happy to say that our offense kept up, and the two teams went quid pro quo each inning.  When it was all said and done, Phils won 10-9.  Heading into the bottom of the ninth, Papelbon was set to face Freese, Molina, and Boggs.  Yes, I cursed when I figured that out.  Papelbon shut it down, though, and picked up his 13th save.

During the bottom of the third inning, when Big Joe started to go downhill, I thought to myself, “And there’s Charlie, doing nothing about it.” I needed to face facts, though.  What could be done at that point? Go to the bullpen? That would have had “disaster” written all over it.  I suppose keeping Blanton in was the lesser of two evils.  St. Louis’s lineup is no joke.  We saw homers – the kind of homers that, upon contact, you say, “That’s leaving the park.” – by Freese, Molina, and Holliday.  I can’t see our bullpen surviving six innings of the Cards’ offense.  It wasn’t Blanton’s best performance, by a long shot, but things could have been worse.  Let me put it this way: Joe Blanton is not my biggest concern with this team.

Right now, the issues that need to be addressed – and fixed, for shit’s sake – are the bullpen and this “let’s strand every runner possible” crap.  What the hell is going on in our bullpen? Is Mick Billmeyer seeing the same thing I’m seeing? Maybe his binoculars would help.  I have very little confidence in our relief pitching.  As for our offense, the Phils seem to be getting runners on base but leaving them there.  I hate this pattern.  I should probably say that louder.  I.  HATE.  THIS.  PATTERN.  If I see much more of it, I might lose my mind.  Shitting the bed with 2 outs and RISP isn’t a trend I enjoy watching.

Looking at Joe Blanton, I suppose I don’t see why so many fans hate him so much.  Okay, he’s not stellar, but even the Pope would pale in comparison to the Doc-Cliff-Cole trifecta.  He’s generally pretty competent, and I think he’s a decent #5 pitcher.  It’s not fair to compare him to our three aces.  Their stardom sort of eclipses him, anyway.  Remember that press conference last season with Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt and Blanton? Big Joe was pretty quiet.  He had that “I don’t really belong here … can I go get lunch?” look on his face.  Cole had to remind reporters that he wasn’t the only one with a ring – Blanton has one, too.  Even through all the talk, though – unload him and eat some of that salary, just get rid of him – he stayed quiet.  He did his job.  I’ve always liked Blanton’s attitude, and last night’s performance notwithstanding, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by him this season.  Sure, his W-L record is 4-4, and sure, he has a neck that has those bulldog wrinkles.  We all know that a W-L record isn’t an accurate picture of a pitcher’s performance, though, and I for one don’t give a shit if Joe Blanton is fat.  I care more that his ERA for the season is 4.55 and his WHIP is 1.256 – both of those numbers are better than what they were the past two seasons.

This is going to be a tough series in St. Louis, and not because Joe Blanton isn’t a contender for Cy Young.  It will be tough because our bullpen is a trainwreck and our offense likes to get on base and stay there.  The good news is: Cliff Lee is on the mound tonight.  The bad news is: our lineup gives him no run support … and Kyle Lohse is pitching for St. Louis.  If last night is any indication, though, then anything can happen.  That’s one of the great things about baseball.


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The Four U’s

May 24th, 2012 by Mike H. | Comments Off on The Four U’s | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

Being that we are already less than ten weeks from the non-waiver trade deadline, I’d like to throw out my opinion on how the Phillies should approach buying and selling. With the Phillies struggling as mightily as they are, one would think it would take a considerable run over the next couple of weeks for the front office to want to pursue adding pieces. It definitely appears that they should be sellers, albeit with very few chips to sell. We can break down what the availability should be by breaking the players down into three categories: Untradeable, Untouchable, Unlikely and Useful.

Leading by example. Showing you what NOT to do!

Unfortunately, the Phillies have a lot of untradeable players. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Cliff Lee, and Jonathan Papelbon all have contracts that would make trading them hard to move, be it from lack of health, lack of production, or just inflated salaries. Together they make up roughly half of the payroll. While the pitchers have performed admirably, albeit Lee hasn’t gotten the results, the position players are what is really hurting the team. Utley’s offseason work out regimen has apparently made his overall condition worse as he officially won’t be making his season debut until long after he made his debut last season. Despite the “updates” the Phillies have provided, I am still under the impression that Howard won’t be making his season debut until after the All Star Game.

The Baby Aces may not be the answer, but they should be a part of the solution.

As far as untouchables go, there really shouldn’t be many, if any at all. I can understand wanting to hold on to the “Baby Aces” and some of the position players, but depending on the deal, just about every player should be made available. The Phillies really need to succeed at determining which players within the organization can be viable contributors moving forward.


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Return To Oz?

May 19th, 2012 by Mike H. | 2 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Oswalt a Phillie again??

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted Friday that Roy Oswalt recently threw a bullpen for the Phillies. He also went on to report that it is very possible that Oswalt may sign as early as next week.

Now if the Phillies are attempting to bring back Oswalt for a second tour, one of two scenarios seem inevitable. The first is that Vance Worley’s injury is worse than reported. Would it really surprise any Phillies fan that the Phillies would not be entirely truthful about the health of a player.

The second scenario involves a complimentary move. Specifically, trading one of your current pitchers in the starting rotation. There would be no room for Oswalt if Worley is in fact healthy. Right now the only options that will potentially bring back any value are Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton, with Hamels bringing back a better return. Each day (and start) that passes, each pitcher’s value drops a little more. So if the Phillies are in fact close to bringing back Oswalt, a complimentary trade could be announced simultaneously. Which pitcher is involved is the more important question.

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