Saturday, July 3, 2010

Philadelphia Phillies' 10 Item Checklist to Overtake the Braves and Mets- Part 7

May 15, 2010- Milwaukee, WI. Miller Park..Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton pitched for a solid 7 innings giving up 5 runs off of 6 hits to the Milwaukee Brewers..Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 6-10..Mike McGinnis / CSM.

Part 7 of 12

6. Joe Blanton replicates last year's second half performance

Similar to last season, Joe Blanton got off to a dismal start. This year was a tad different in that injury played a role, but the results have been very similar. 

A key element to the Phillies strong finish a year ago was that Blanton turned things around to become a highly dependable starter over the last three months.
The team needs the same from him this year. 

With Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels pitching well at the top of the rotation, yet only registering a 15-12 record between them thus far, it highlights that the Phillies need the other three starters to consistently keep them in games. Part of the reason for this anomoly relates to the fact that these two are matching up against other team's top hurlers, so it stands to reason that strong pitching from the other starters provides a greater opportunity to register a "W." 

After 8 starts in 2009, Blanton was 2-3 with a lofty 7.11 ERA. Making his best case for the history repeats itself theory, Big Joe was sitting at 1-5 with a 7.28 ERA this season. 

The team hopes that the three solid performances since then are the beginning of a similar trend line to a year ago. Blanton went 10-5 with a 3.16 ERA over the balance of the season— a performance that the Phillies would happily embrace in 2010.

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