Game 21: Supporting Joe

Phillies SP Joe Blanton (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

The last outing for Joe Blanton wasn’t a glamorous one.

The Phillies right-hander was whacked around in a 6-1 loss to the Padres, giving up six runs, three earned, on seven hits. Blanton (1-3, 4.34) will look to bounce back in his fourth start of the season against the Cubs.

Not only is Blanton looking to get a win but he’s looking to re-establish himself as a worthy starting pitcher in baseball as well as this star-studded Phillies rotation. Blanton is in the last year of his contract, making $8.5 million — a lot of money for a fifth starter originally paid to be a number three.

Whether the Phillies will look to trade Blanton at the deadline is a mystery; but a move at the deadline involving a starting pitcher could depend on how Blanton’s season is shaping up to be. Blanton will either be trade bait or help could be sought out if Blanton struggles or someone gets hurt.

That is too far into the future to look, just like an sort of panic button being pushed is too early.

Yes the Phillies offense went into a relapse in last night’s 5-1 loss to Chicago but it still isn’t a cause for concern; only frustration. The Phils are 14th in batting average (.253) and tied for 27th in runs scored (64).

The Phillies will look to turn that around against the Cubs’ starter Randy Wells (0-0, 3.60), who is making his second start of the season last Sunday. Wells pitched five innings, allowing two runs in a no decision against the Reds.

Wells has only faced the Phillies twice, a seven-inning shut out in 2010 and a debacle of an outing last season, giving up three runs in only 2 1/3 innings of work.

Phillies line up:
Rollins 6
Polanco 5
Pence 9
Thome 3
Victorino 8
Nix 7
Ruiz 2
Orr 4
Blanton 1

Rollins will hit lead off for the first time this season. Pence will hit in front of Thome and Victorino will try and protect Thome in the line up so he sees better pitches. Thome has struck out 10 times in 17 at bats.

Article of the day: Today’s blog post comes from the beats. Todd Zolecki talks about the Phillies line up and the fact they’ve gotten the most production from the bottom half. He then suggests a reshuffle of the line up that see’s Jimm Rollins in an old familiar spot, which Manuel is actually going with in tonight’s game.

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