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Tag:Joe Blanton
Posted on: October 19, 2010 7:39 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 7:42 pm
 

Phillies sticking with Blanton

Joe Blanton Like Joe Girardi after the Yankees fell behind 2-1 in the ALCS, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he's sticking with his Game 4 starter, Joe Blanton, with the Phillies down 2 games to 1.

"No discussion," Manuel told reporters after the game when asked if there was discussion whether to switch up his rotation and pitch Roy Halladay on short rest.

Blanton is 7-1 with a  4.82 ERA in 28 starts and one relief appearance this season. Blanton was horrible in his first eight starts, going 1-5 with a 7.28 ERA. Since then, he's 8-1 with a 3.92 ERA. In his last nine starts, he's 5-0 with a 2.73 ERA. He is 2-0 with a 3.89 ERA in five starts and eight appearances in his career in the postseason.

Left-hander Madison Bumgarner will go for the Giants. Bumgarner was 7-6 with a 3.00 ERA and picked up a victory over Atlanta in the NLDS, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 18, 2010 4:20 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 10:57 am
 

Blanton still scheduled for Game 4

Joe Blanton So Yankees manager Joe Girardi is sticking with A.J. Burnett as his Game 4 starter. Does that mean Charlie Manuel is sticking with Joe Blanton as his No. 4 starter?

"We haven't talked about it yet," pitching coach Rich Dubee told the Philadelphia Inquirer .

The plan is currently to have Blanton make the start, and that would certainly remain if the Phillies won Game 3. If the squad loses, however, it's very possible that the club would ask Roy Halladay to toe the mound.

"We'll just take it day to day and see what happens," Manuel said.

While the A.J. Burnett move defies all logic , the decision to start Blanton is somewhat defensible. Blanton ended the year with a 4.82 ERA (4.06 xFIP) in 28 starts and one relief appearance. However, that ERA is tied up in a massive first-half failure. Blanton had a 6.41 ERA in the first half, but a 3.48 line in the second.

It beats having Jamie Moyer as a Game 4 starter, something Manuel ruled out after Moyer said he was finally healthy and ready to pitch. Moyer was in the midst of a surprising season, outperforming expectations with a 4.84 ERA in 19 starts before suffering two arm injuries in July.

But Moyer won't be pitching in the NLCS and certainly not in the World Series.

"He hasn't pitched in a game [since July]," Manuel said. "I find that a little tough."

Even though Blanton hasn't started a game since Sept. 29, he has been throwing on the side and would allow Philadelphia to throw out a starter they are reasonably confident in as well as keep everyone on their scheduled day.

"If we move one up, we have to move them all up," Dubee said of skipping Blanton. Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels would all pitch on short rest, with Halladay being asked to pitch Game 7 a second turn through short rest.

If anyone can pull that off, it's Roy Halladay -- but if the Phillies don't have to, they won't.

  -- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 12, 2010 12:32 am
Edited on: October 12, 2010 6:01 pm
 

NLCS pitching matchup one for the ages

Could anyone have asked for a better NLCS matchup? (Okay, after putting partisan picks aside.)

The Phillies will do battle with the Giants for the right to advance to the World Series, and at the forefront of it will be the most valued commodity in baseball: pitching. Both teams will square off with the best three-deep postseason pitching matchup since 1992's World Series.

Here is a breakdown of the top three starters, plus the projected Game 4 starters.

Tim Lincecum GAME 1

In Game 1, Roy Halladay will battle Tim Lincecum (right). "The Freak" has won the last two Cy Youngs for the Giants, but he has no shot this year -- some due to his own regression, but Halladay is another big reason why. This is as marquee as a matchup can get, and it will be done on the stage of the NLCS.

THE SKINNY :
Lincecum: 16-10, 212 1/3 IP, 3.43 ERA, 3.21 xFIP, 231 K, 76 BB
Halladay: 21-10, 250 2/3 IP, 2.44 ERA, 2.92 xFIP, 219 K, 30 BB

DIVISION SERIES:
Lincecum: 1 GS, 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 14 K, W
Halladay: 1 GS, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, W

THE EDGE:
Lincecum struggled through a brutal August, but turned it around and is as hot as any pitcher can be. Halladay is coming off a no-hitter (pictured below, celebrating), and there's just no way to pick an edge. Feel sorry for the offenses.

GAME 2

How much in common do the Phillies and Giants have? So much in common that they're choosing not to slot in a lefty in-between right-handed starters. Nope, the No. 2 starters, handedness be damned, belong to Roy Oswalt and Matt Cain. Oswalt has been stupendous since leaving Houston for Philly, and Cain would be the ace of most teams.

THE SKINNY:
Cain: 13-11, 223 1/3 IP, 3.14 ERA, 4.19 xFIP, 177 K, 61 BB
Oswalt: 13-13, 211 2/3 IP, 2.76 ERA, 3.45 xFIP, 193 K, 55 BB

DIVISION SERIES:
Cain: 1 GS, 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
Oswalt: 1 GS, 5 IP, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

THE EDGE:
Oswalt admitted he was rusty in Game 2 of the NLDS, but don't expect that to slow him down. While Cain spun a nice game against the Braves, Oswalt still has him beat in total numbers, so this is also a push.

GAME 3

And here is an all-lefty Game 3, with Jonathan Sanchez and Cole Hamels opposing each other. Sanchez has a no-hitter to his name. Hamels has a World Series MVP trophy. It ain't gonna be easy, especially for Philly's lefty-laden lineup. Say this about the Giants: they have many options from each side.

Roy Halladay THE SKINNY:
Hamels: 12-11, 208 2/3 IP, 3.06 ERA, 3.43 xFIP, 211 K, 61 BB
Sanchez: 13-9, 193 1/3 IP, 3.07 ERA, 4.11 xFIP, 205 K, 96 BB

DIVISION SERIES:
Hamels: 1 GS, 9 IP, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
Sanchez: 1 GS, 7 1/2 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K

THE EDGE:
This one isn't a push. Sanchez is a great pitcher with no-hit stuff, but Hamels is consistently great. That gives him a pretty clear edge over Sanchez, but not a gigantic one. Offense aside, this is the one matchup the Phillies need to take advantage of.

GAME 4

Game 4 will likely be started by Joe Blanton and Madison Bumgarner. Each has warts, but each has pros as well. The edge here has to be given to the Giants, which helps make up for losing the Hamels edge. If either team is in a 3-0 hole, a three-man rotation could happen.

THE SKINNY:
Blanton: 9-6, 175 2/3 IP, 4.82 ERA, 4.06 xFIP, 134 K, 43 BB
Bumgarner: 7-6, 111 IP, 3.00 ERA, 4.03 xFIP, 86 K, 26 BB

DIVISION SERIES:
Blanton: Did not pitch
Bumgarner: 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

THE EDGE:

Bumgarner is left-handed, which plays against Philadelphia's lineup and has the experience of clinching the NLDS against the Braves. Blanton has been a bit unlucky this season while Bumgarner has been a bit lucky, but luck derives momentum, and momentum is everything in the postseason. Edge to Giants.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: June 14, 2010 11:08 am
 

Phillies unlikely to add


Phillies fans are getting a bit nervous about the National League champs being in third place at this point in the season, and Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News points out that the team is not likely to be able to significantly upgrade via trade.

The Phillies have gotten help at the deadline the past three years: Kyle Lohse in 2007, Joe Blanton in 2008 and Cliff Lee in 2009. Those trades depleted the farm system of the kind of players they'd need to make a similar deal this year. The cupboard is bare except for outfielder Domonic Brown, and the Phillies aren't inclined to trade such a promising prospect.

The Phillies also are hamstrung by their high payroll, much of which is going to players who already are signed for 2011. That rules out taking on a big contract.

The return of Jimmy Rollins (on the disabled list since May 22 with a calf injury, maybe back this weekend) will be a boost to the offense, but for the most part the Phillies are going to have to figure out how to get it done with the guys currently in the clubhouse.

-- David Andriesen

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