Photo by: H. Rumph Jr./AP
It’s no secret that Joe Blanton has struggled early in the 2010 campaign. Well those struggles continued today. The San Diego Padres touched up Big Joe for three runs in the 1st inning alone. On the day, Blanton gave up five runs on 11 hits in only five innings of work. Blanton is 1-4 with a 6.07 ERA in seven games since returning from the disabled list.
The San Diego Padres got the scoring started very early in today’s game. In the 1st inning, Jerry Hairston Jr. hit a one out single and was followed by a two-run home run by slugger Adrian Gonzalez. Chase Headley followed with a double to right field. Former Phillies hero Matt Stairs singled to center field to extend the Padres lead to 3-0.
In the bottom half of the inning, Shane Victorino led off with a single then stole 2nd base. It’s good to see the Phillies stealing bases again. It’s something that they really need to do if they want to win. Placido Polanco reached base on a fielding error by second basemen Lance Zawadzski. Ryan Howard grounded out to bring home Victorino for the Phillies’ 1st run.
In the 2nd inning, the Phillies loaded up the bases with two outs for Polanco. Polanco came through with a two-run single to left field to tie the game at 3. Chase Utley followed with a walk to load up the bases once again. Ryan Howard came up next and knocked a two-run single to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead.
In the 4th inning, Adrian Gonzalez notched another RBI with a single that scored Scott Hairston. In the following inning, Blanton’s struggles continued as he gave up a solo home run to catcher Nick Hundley.
The teams remained tied until the game went into extra innings. Danys Baez was brought in for some work in the 10th inning. Oscar Salazar was able to leg out an infield single to score Chase Headley to give the Padres a 6-5 lead. The Padres did not look back and they won the game 6-5.
Blanton had a high pitch count early and just never really settled in. He gave up three runs early and Adrian Gonzalez found tremendous success off him. Blanton just hasn’t found any success and his ERA continues to climb as the season progresses. Blanton has been the weak spot in the Phillies rotation so far this season. His struggles resemble those of Cole Hamels in 2009. Hamels never could quite settle in last season and struggled throughout. Hopefully Big Joe can improve as the season wears on and help out this team.