There's a reason Joe Blanton has been the forgotten man in the Phillies' starting rotation and it was on display for all to see last night. Staked to a 7-0 lead, Blanton imploded in the fifth inning allowing the Mets to tie the game. The Phils' offense bailed him and the rest of the team out by tacking on three more runs for a 10-7 victory.
Kentucky Joe has a reputation as an innings eater but over the last one plus seasons it sure has looked more like the innings are eating him! Strong at the beginning of the game, as the innings wore on Blanton left more and more pitches up in the zone and the Mets started taking batting practice. I write "as the innings wore on" but the hard truth is he fell apart in the fifth inning, hardly deep into the game.
Besides the offense, which collected 16 hits, the middle and back of the Phillies' bullpen was outstanding including JC Romero, Antonio Bastardo, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras. In essence, everyone did his job in the pen as they halted the hemorrhaging and allowed the offense to take over.
Speaking of that offense, the Phils have certainly provided far more of it at this early juncture of the season than was expected. Let's see what happens when they face good pitching. The only certifiably good pitcher they've faced thus far is Brett Myers, who stymied them but good! Meanwhile, the Phils' starting pitching has given up fourteen runs to the Mets in two nights.
Tell me again, who is supposed to be ahead at this point in the season, pitching or hitting?