Tomorrow, Josh Johnson and Roy Halladay will face off in a highly anticipated match up of two legitimate bad ass ace pitchers. Tonight, Javier Vasquez took on Joe Blanton. The difference in the match-ups is ridiculous in its dissimilarity.
Javier Vasquez is a absolutely terrible. There was a perception that he was not built to pitch in New York after two failed stints there and that a return to the National league would revitalize his career. I believe that perception was incorrect. Vasquez left tonight’s abomination with a 6.88 ERA. Blanton, on the other hand is the fifth wheel in the love affair that Philadelphia is having with the starting rotation on their baseball team. He is fresh off of the disabled list with a right elbow impingement and now appears ready to be achieve mediocrity.
One batter, 1-0 Phillies. Jimmy Rollins deposited the 3-1 fastball from Vasquez for the thirty sixth lead off home run of his career. Not to be outdone, Blanton allowed singles to Chris Coghlan and Hanley Ramirez followed by a two run double from Gaby Sanchez. Joe allowed another run on another Chris Coghlan single in the second to make the score 3-1 in favor of the fish. Luckily, Vasquez was not about to pitch well and hold onto that lead. In the third, the Phillies hit four singles and scored three runs to take the lead. In addition to his horrid pitching performance, Vaquez made an error in the inning to give the Phils another run. Javier allowed two more runs in the fifth to complete his line at four 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits and six runs. It appears that he is pitching his way out of the Marlins rotation.
It really could have been worse for Joe. He settled down after his rough start and helped himself by inducing four double plays. He threw 66 pitches in his five innings of work while allowing eight hits and three runs. Blanton allowed a baserunner in every inning, but managed to work out of trouble when necessary.
Vance Worley pitched three innings of relief allowing a solo home run to Gaby Sanchez and Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save in four opportunities. Madson is dispelling the notion that he is allergic to the ninth inning by throwing the shit out of the ball. The Phillies are perfect in save opportunities with their number one and two options at closer relegated to the disabled list. Good times.
Ross Gload got the start in left field and responded by going 2-3 with two RBIs, Ryan Howard went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Every player (save Brian Schneider and Pete Orr) managed to get a hit tonight and Blanton mitigated the damage he allowed to earn the Phillies the first win of the series 6-4.
Tomorrow, Halladay versus Johnson.