The Phillies lost to the Marlins on Sunday 5-1, losing their first series since the Nationals series on May 23. It was an ugly loss all around–there was some poor pitching, some poor fielding, and some really poor hitting. Actually, starter Joe Blanton didn’t pitch too bad, it was just a combination of a few mistakes, some great hitting by the Marlins, some seeing-eye hits, and some mistakes in the field by the Phils. Nonetheless, the Phillies didn’t look good.
Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano pitched a great game, but the Phils offense didn’t exactly make it too difficult for him. He finished with a line of:7.2 IP/4 H/1 R/1 ER/2 BB/7 K and retired 13 straight Phillies until Juan Pierre successfully bunted–for a double–in the bottom of the sixth–and then retired five more in a row. The Phils weren’t patient and let Zambrano just cruise along most of the game. The Phils threatened in the ninth, but Heath Bell shut to door for the Marlins.
NOT A TERRIBLE START FOR BLANTON
Joe Blanton finished with a line of 6.0 + IP/9 H/5 R/5 ER/1 BB/6 K. Prior to today’s game, he came in with a 12.51 ERA, .412/.444/.882 (1.327 OPS) against, 2.268 WHIP in his last three starts. He pitched pretty well outside of the two home runs and a bad inning.
He got into trouble in the seventh, but a seeing-eye single that probably could’ve been a double play started the bleeding, which was followed by a perfectly placed bunt that loaded the bases with no outs. From there on, runs were inevitable. Today’s start was definitely an improvement over his last three.
BLANTON GIVING UP THE LONG BALL
Blanton came into the game with the highest rate of home runs given up amongst Phils starters, and fifth-highest overall in the National League. He gave up two more Sunday–one to opposing pitcher Carlos Zambrano and one to Hanley Ramirez.
Mother Nature was at it again Sunday, as the rain started to pour down in the top of the fifth inning. Blanton escaped the inning without surrendering a run, but Hanley Ramirez nearly killed a few fans in the front row when his bat slipped out of his hand as he struck out. The Phillies ground crew might been in a little bit of trouble if anyone was injured. The rain subsided, so there were no delays.
Then in the bottom of the sixth, the rains came again, and the inning ended with Hector Luna launching his bat in the stands as he struck out, just as Ramirez did. That’s two bats that flew into the stands due to the rain, something that could have been prevented.
Juan Pierre did something that you don’t see very often, and that is a bunt for a double. He placed the drag bunt perfectly down the 3rd base line, and Hanley Ramirez, thinking it would roll foul, let it go until it was too late and he couldn’t grab it. Pierre hustled his way to 2nd for the double.