"Nice pitching, Big Joe." Thanks, Big Jim.". (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
In the process, the Phillies won the series, 2-1, improved to 31-34, and constructed their longest winning streak since the Paleozoic era. Two.
So, normally, there would be some awesome details here, but, I didn't get to watch all of this game, due to the surprise birthday party my wife orchestrated for me this evening; and I want to get this up and posted. More details to come.
Also, we won. Hell yeah.
The Phillies jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, as Ty Wigginton laced his seventh homerun of the year, a solo shot in the second. According to the radio guys shortly after, Wigginton is best when he plays only three or four days per week. Run him out there everyday, and he's terrible. Give him a handful of off days weekly, and he's Ted Williams. Huh. Pay attention, Charlie!
The lead lasted only one batter, though, as Trevor Plouffe, he of nine homeruns in his last three at-bats or something, followed with a bomb of his own in the bottom of the second. Huh. Well, it was Joe Blanton, after all, who had allowed 12 homeruns in his last six starts, over only 33.1 innings. Seemed like it was gonna be one of those days again.
But a funny thing happened in the third. Jim Thome hit a three-run shot that put the Phils up for good, and then, in the bottom of the third... Joe Blanton, he of the aforementioned homerun barrage... pitched a shut-down inning. Three up, three down. And then in the fourth, he allowed a base hit and nothing more. And in the fifth, three up, three down. And again in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth.
Joe pitched his way to a complete game, scattering seven hits, the lone run, while striking out seven and walking none. 118 pitches, 78 strikes. Perhaps the Catz-Ibanez Circadian rhythm of the Phillies is beginning to swing the other way. Or maybe Joe just likes Walleye on a stick.
The Phils would add two more runs, on an RBI double from Carlos Ruiz and an RBI single from Placido Polanco Placido Polanco. Sadly, most of those runs don't count.
The win pushes the Phils to 31-34, but with a positive run differential of +1, so we're moving in the right direction for sure. The Nationals took the day off (slackers!), so the deficit in the NL East is now nine games. Back away from the cliff, put the toaster down, and turn the safety back on, folks; we're in good shape.
The Phils travel north tomorrow, to a foreign country, for a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays eh, before returning home to an off-day on Monday.
Fangraph of Hell Yeah a Winning Streak!