Thursday, April 21, 2011

2010 Topps #188 Joe Blanton

Brewers 6, Phillies 3 (12 Innings)
Game 15 - Monday Night, April 18th in Philadelphia

One Sentence Summary:  Kyle Kendrick allowed three runs in the twelfth and the Phillies offense continued its week-long struggle, as the Brewers defeated the Phillies in extras, 6-3.

What It Means:  The Phils fell to 10-5.  The Marlins also lost, meaning the Phillies still have a game and a half lead in the N.L. East.  The team will try to provide Roy Halladay with a little more offense tonight.  (UPDATE - That didn't exactly work out so well . . . )

What Went Wrong:  The Phillies managed just nine singles against Brewers pitching and they left eleven runners on base.  Jimmy Rollins (0 for 5) and Ben Francisco (0 for 6) could probably use a night off.  Kendrick imploded in his first appearance in over a week, allowing three runs to score on three walks (two intentional), a wild pitch, an error (his own) and a single.  J.C. Romero left the game with a right calf strain, and a DL-stint is a definite possibility.

What Went Right:  Joe Blanton rebounded nicely from his first few poor starts, pitching seven strong innings while allowing just two runs on seven hits.  The Phillies tied the game in the ninth with a little small ball.  Brewers closer John Axford walked Carlos Ruiz to start the inning.  Ruiz advanced to second on Wilson Valdez' sac bunt and came around to score on Pete Orr's clutch RBI-single.

Featured Card:  In honor of Blanton's first quality start of 2011, here's his card from the 2010 Topps set.

Other Stuff:  This was a new experience for me - As the Phillies and Brewers battled at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night, I was flying cross country from Philly to Los Angeles for work.  I had to resist the urge to turn on my cell phone in order to check the score a few times.  This was my first visit to Los Angeles, and it's the reason this and the next few game summary posts are a few days late.  I'm writing these things as they happen, but my baseball card collection and scanner wouldn't fit into my carry-on.

Transactions:  Pitcher Brian Schlitter was returned to the Cubs due to a pre-existing injury.  Schlitter had been on the Phillies' disabled list.  Earlier this year, he was claimed from the Yankees, who in turn had claimed him from the Cubs.  His injury voided both waiver claims.

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