Joe Blanton had the ball last night for the Phils and was not very good in his 5 innings of work. He gave up 4 earned runs during the start, but he seemed all over the strike zone. He had real control problems in the 2nd inning, walking the first two batters, both of whom went on to score. The frustrating part of this is that the Phillies had just tacked two runs up on the Marlins and Blanton's lack of control put the Phils right back to square one.
After the Phillies put up 3 more runs in the 2nd inning (one of them thanks to a Joe Blanton SF), Blanton walked Hanley Ramirez to lead off the 3rd and was made to pay for that walk when Mike Jacobs hit a big fly to cut the Phils lead to 5 - 4. Blanton was eventually lifted after 5 innings for Chad Durbin, who turned in his usual stellar effort.
Offensively, the Phils were paced by their leadoff man, Jimmy Rollins, who knocked in a run and scored 2 more runs to go with his 3 hits and 3 steals. Jayson Werth hit a 3-run bomb that gave the Phils an 8 - 4 lead that they would not relinquish.
The Marlins did manage to get 2 runs off of JC Romero before Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge closed them out.
The series continues today with Chris Volstad facing Kyle Kendrick.
- Pat Burrell was not in the lineup last night, nor should he be. He's got 8 strikeouts in his last 22 ABs and he's hitting .222 over that stretch. A pennant race is no time for being sensitive to a players feelings; Werth is playing well right now, so he has to be in the lineup.
- You could tell by watching JC Romero that he was going to give up that homer to Cody Ross. Anytime Romero nibbles around the plate with his pitches, you can tell he's not confident. Romero needs to pound the strikezone to be successful.
- The 6th inning was closed out by the Phils with a pretty 3 - 6- 1 double play, with Durbin covering first base.