Hey everyone! Joe Blanton ate some innings today instead of (insert fat joke here)! Exclamation points are being added at the end of these quotations for emphasis, I mean, Joe had an ERA over 10 coming into tonight’s game and managed to put in some serious work for seven innings, so extra emphasis is certainly required. Let’s break the fourth wall here today on That Ball’s Outta Here. If Joe Blanton threw seven innings of two run ball, you would assume the Phillies would win the game? Okay, you are correct audience. After Joe’s shittastic start to the season, it would seem that the aforementioned stat line would all but guarantee a Phillies win. Not so tonight as Blanton was bested by the Milwaukee Brewers Shawn Marcum.
Marcum is one of those soft tossers (this always seemed like some sort of double entendre, meaning not throwing hard and something very sexual) that seem to give the Phils a tough time. People who are considerably smarter than me have outlined the lack of plate discipline in the current Utley-less line up. The Phils got to Marcum in the first inning, putting together some solid at bats and generally making Marcum work. For the remainder of his five shut-out innings, the Phillies helped him considerably by rolling over his change up and swinging at junk pitches. Nothing is more frustrating than being stuck in an emergency room (I actually spent last night in the hospital with my wife) and watching hitter after hitter suck against a guy that looks hittable.
The Phils took a 1-0 lead into the top of the third inning where Blanton had his toughest inning of the game. He allowed a leadoff single to random catcher Jonathan Lucroy who was sacrificed to second by Marcum and singled home by Carlos Gomez. This is the portion of the line-up that in no way shape or form should score runs. The second run of the inning was provided by one of the players that you would expect to knock the snot out of Blanton: Ryan Braun. Braun singled to bring home Lopez giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
The Phils offense staggered back into the game, aided by some shaky defense and relief pitcher Sean Green. Wilson Valdez got on base due to a fielding error from Casey McGehee and Ross Gload Gloaded the ball into left field. Valdez was knocked in by Shane Victorino fielders choice and another poor play from the Brewers defense. Based on the way they looked earlier in the inning the great play on Placido Polanco’s line drive off the pitcher was even more impressive. Polanco lined the ball off of Sergio Mitre as shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt dove for the ricochet and doubled pinch runner Michael Martinez at second. Fucking stupid Brewers.
Uncharacteristically, Ryan Madson gave up the lead in top of the eighth inning by allowing a single to Ryan Braun, a double to Prince Fielder and an RBI groundout to Betancourt.
The Brewer’s ninth inning has been a little bit of an adventure to put it mildly. John Axford had an ERA hovering around seven and had struggled with his control a bit thus far this season. Axford walked Carlos Ruiz to start the inning, who was sacrificed to second by Valdez. Pete Orr pinch hit for Madson and knocked Chooch in with a single and advanced to second on another shit play from Ryan Braun. Then came the most frustrating at bat of the game. I know that it is difficult to hit a 97 MPH fastball. I also know that the pitcher was wild as hell and couldn’t find the plate. I think Victorino would have been better served to just stand there and watch Axford put him on. Instead, Shane swung at ball four and gave Axford the chance to escape the inning without the loss.
Fast forward to the top of the twelfth inning. Enter Kyle Kendrick. Brewers score three runs on one hit. I really don’t want to go into this inning. Terrible. Phils get two men on the bottom of the inning and hit a bunch of balls hard, but can’t scratch anything across the plate losing the game 6-3. Loss goes to Kendrick. He earned this one by completely melting down.
Halladay versus Randy Wolf today. If anyone can make us feel better about the world we live in, its Roy Halladay.