The Phillies beat the Dodgers, 3-2, on Monday night for their third straight win. It’s the Phillies’ first three-game winning streak since May 23-26, when they won four in a row.
-Joe Blanton pitched eight strong innings, allowing two runs. He struck out seven batters without a walk, improving his gaudy K/BB numbers to 102 and 16, respectively.
-Blanton broke a personal streak of 11 straight starts surrendering a home run. He was one away from tying Randy Wolf (2000) for the longest stretch in Phillies history.
-Ryan Howard hit his first home run of the season, an opposite-field solo shot after he narrowly missed hitting one out to the same spot an at-bat earlier. It was the 287th homer of Howard’s career.
-Jimmy Rollins went deep for the ninth time.
-Carlos Ruiz continues his torrid season. Chooch doubled in the second inning and scored on a single by Juan Pierre, who is also somewhat-quietly having a really nice year.
-Shane Victorino tripled for the third straight game. He had two in his previous 87 games. Victorino is the first player to triple in three straight games since… Shane Victorino, in 2011.
-It was great to see “The Big Piece” trot back after a long layoff, and the swing also looked pretty decent. Howard held the hands back and went to the opposite field. When he’s on, that’s the direction he goes in. In the second inning, he narrowly missed one, too.
-Blanton: 8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K.
-In the middle innings, it was about damage control (or control damage as Sarge says). Blanton ran into a bit of trouble in the fourth, allowing two to reach base, but ended the inning on a knee-high strike three to James Loney. Great way to keep a zero on the board.
In the sixth, Blanton ran into another issue as the Dodgers put runners on the corners with no outs and Matt Kemp at the dish. Big Joe coolly got him to ground into a 5-4-3 double play, which did allow a run to cross home. However, it was the only run of that frame. In the seventh, the Dodgers would tack on another on a wild pitch to make it 3-2, but Blanton held them there.
-Blanton outpitched his counterpart Nate Eovaldi, who left after just five innings and was inconsistent. Eovaldi throws hard, but still appears to be a work in progress.
-Tomorrow, it’s finally the return of Roy Halladay, who starts for the first time since being sidelined on May 28 with a strained lat muscle. Excited to see what Roy will do, but let’s also temper expectations. The Dodgers have not announced a starter yet.