Ugh. Joe Blanton produced another crapper on Tuesday night as the Phillies lost their third straight series-opening game, this time to Jayson Werth and the Nationals, 7-4.
Blanton just has not been very good in his two starts. After a seven run outing on Wednesday against the Mets, he followed it up with five runs over six innings and 86 pitches. Blanton would strikeout four, but give up a walk and seven hits. One of those was a home run to former Phillie Jayson Werth.
The Nats big inning came in the fourth inning after Werth led off with a double. Two batters later, Wilson Ramos brought him home with a double of his own. Four batters later, two more Nationals would reach home plate to give them a 4-1 advantage early.
In the fifth, Werth extended the lead by a run with his first homer against his former team – his second of the season. For the 48 hours prior to Tuesday night game, many wondered if they should boo or cheer Werth. Both applied here. You could cheer him for a solid performance. You could boo him because he just wrecked the Phillies and proved, somewhat, why the Nats wanted him so badly.
Livan Hernandez tossed junk up there all night and rather than be patient, the Phillies allowed the rubber-armed man get into the seventh inning and strike out six.
The lone bright spot for the Phils was a Ryan Howard bomb in the second, which actually gave them an early lead, which would go bye-bye quickly.
A streak ended tonight as well. Antonio Bastardo’s walk to Ramos in the seventh marked the first run allowed by the Phillies’ bullpen after 20 straight scoreless innings. All good things must come to an end.
(Tomorrow: Roy Halladay vs. John Lannan)