Blanton getting the job done for the Phillies

Joe Blanton has been pretty much of an afterthought for the Phillies since he's been battling injuries. Now, Blanton is healthy and at this point in the season, has more wins than Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay combined.

No one was sure what to expect of Joe Blanton when he arrived at spring training three months ago. He was limited to eight starts in 2011 due to an elbow injury. The Phillies, the doctors and Blanton felt the best remedy was rest, not surgery.

The uncertainty prevailed throughout the beginning of the spring, but Blanton has proved all doubters wrong in the time since.

The 31-year-old veteran took a shutout into the eighth inning Monday and settled for his fourth win in seven starts this season as the Phillies beat the Astros 5-1. Blanton had held Houston to four hits in seven shutout innings before allowing a home run to pinch hitter Marwin Gonzalez to begin the eighth.

Blanton, who was tagged with a loss in his first game this season, which came in relief, is 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA in seven starts. The fifth starter of the Philadelphia rotation, Blanton has gone at least seven innings in five of his seven starts.

Phillies starting pitchers lead off of baseball with 238 2/3 innings this season. With a bullpen that sports the worst ERA in baseball (5.23), the starters' ability to average 6 2/3 innings per start has been a boost.

"I always want to go deep in the games," Blanton said. "You'll give up runs, but you can somewhat control going deep into the game and take some pressure off the bullpen. ... I feel like over the long haul, it's good for the bullpen, especially when you start getting past August. They're a little bit fresher because the starters have gone deeper in games. It's a big difference over the course of 162 games."

With Monday's victory, Blanton extended his personal winning streak to three games. Since his last loss, on April 22 in San Diego, Blanton is 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA. He has struck out 28 and walked four in 30 innings during that span.

Joe Blanton's career stats

Year Team W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO
2004 Oakland 0 0 5.63 3 0 8.0 6 5 5 1 2 6
2005 Oakland 12 12 3.53 33 33 201.1 178 86 79 23 67 116
2006 Oakland 16 12 4.82 32 31 194.1 241 111 104 17 58 107
2007 Oakland 14 10 3.95 34 34 230.0 240 106 101 16 40 140
2008 Oakland 5 12 4.96 20 20 127.0 145 74 70 12 35 62
2008 Philadelphia 4 0 4.20 13 13 70.2 66 36 33 10 31 49
2008 combined stats 9 12 4.69 33 33 197.2 211 110 103 22 66 111
2009 Philadelphia 12 8 4.05 31 31 195.1 198 89 88 30 59 163
2010 Philadelphia 9 6 4.82 29 28 175.2 206 104 94 27 43 134
2011 Philadelphia 1 2 5.01 11 8 41.1 52 23 23 5 9 35
2012 Philadelphia 4 3 2.96 8 7 48.2 45 19 16 2 7 35
9 Seasons 77 65 4.27 214 205 1292.1 1377 653 613 143 351 847
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/15/2012.


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