Monday, October 27, 2008
Blanton Brings Phils to the Brink
Joe Blanton, take your place in Philadelphia Sports folklore.
Joe Blanton pitched 6 innings of 2-run ball and hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the 5th inning to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 10-2 win in Game 4 of the World Series. The win gives the Phils a commanding 3 games to 1 lead in the best-of-7 series that continues tonight.
The Phils scratched out a run early as Rays' starter Andy Sonnanstine pitched like a deer in the headlights. A control pitcher, Sonnanstine gave up a double to Jimmy Rollins and two walks to hand the Phillies a 1 - 0 lead. The Phils increased their lead in the 3rd inning to 2 - 0, on an RBI single from Pedro Feliz, scoring Chase Utley, who had reached base on an Akinori Iwamura error.
After a Carl Crawford solo homer in the top of the 4th to cut the lead to 1, the Phils took the game (and the Series) by the horns. After another Iwamura error and a Jayson Werth walk, Ryan Howard launched a 3-run shot to left field to send the home crowd into a frenzy and gave the Phils a 5 - 1 lead.
The Rays' Eric Hinke went on to tack on another solo shot to bring the Rays back to within 3 runs, but that run was erased when Joe Blanton hit what might be the most improbable home run in World Series history.
Blanton, who had 2 hits in 33 ABs all year, deposited an Edwin Jackson offering well over the left field wall to rip out the Rays' hearts and extend the Phillies lead to 6 - 2. The Phillies then proceeded to beat up on the Rays bullpen in the 8th inning, with a pair of 2-run homers from Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard (his 2nd) respectively.
The Series will continue this evening, with Cole Hamels facing Scott Kazmir.
- Jimmy Rollins....3 for 5 with 3 runs scored. That the Phillies won wasn't an accident when Rollins gets on base 3 times.
- I wonder how the game would have turned out had Pedro Feliz NOT gotten that basehit to drive home Utley in the 3rd inning. The Phils had runners at 1st and 3rd with no outs and to not get at least 1 run out of that siutation again might have hurt the team's confidence a bit. They had Sonnanstine on the ropes in the 1st inning, loading the bases with 1 out and let the young pitcher off the hook.
- Rough night for Akinori Iwamura with 2 errors.
- I'll have a report later today on my trip to Game 3 last Saturday. LONG day, last Saturday.....