They hope Joe Blanton helps change that.
The Phillies, who open a three-game series Tuesday night against the Pirates, are just 8-11 against the lowly Pirates at PNC Park since 2002. But Blanton is 6-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 15 starts since May 26. He's tied for fourth in the National League in ERA in that span with Giants right-hander Matt Cain. Only Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum (1.97 ERA), Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw (2.21) and Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright (2.23) have been better.
Blanton only has six wins in that time because he hasn't had much run support. The Phillies have averaged just 4.38 runs in his previous 15 starts, which ranked 32nd out of 50 qualifying pitchers. He also ranks 16th with 102 2/3 innings pitched, despite having one to three fewer starts than all but one pitcher ranked ahead of him in that category.
If the postseason started today and if the Phils could set up their rotation the way they like, it would not be a stretch to see Blanton starting Game 2 of a five- or seven-game series.
PHI: RHP Joe Blanton (8-6, 3.86 ERA)
Blanton allowed 10 hits and three runs in eight innings Thursday in a 12-3 victory over the D-backs. He worked quickly and efficiently against Arizona, not walking a single batter. "It's a young, aggressive team," Blanton said. "Just because somebody is aggressive it doesn't mean you throw more balls. You still come right at them. Go at them and make your defense do some work. Just keep attacking the zone." He's been doing that to everybody most of the season.
Ohlendorf might be pitching as well as he has at any point this season. Now four starts into using a tweaked delivery motion, Ohlendorf is showing that his improved velocity and sustained command are no flukes. He has now won three straight and has allowed three or fewer runs in nine of his past 10 starts. Ohlendorf did not factor in the decision in his July 11 start against the Phillies. He allowed three earned runs on five hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings. Tidbits
Eric Bruntlett turned the 15th unassisted triple play in baseball history Sunday. The Phillies are the only franchise to have two unassisted triple plays. Mickey Morandini turned the other Sept. 20, 1992. ... Right-hander Brett Myers made a rehab start Monday for Class A Lakewood. He walked one and struck out one in one inning. ... The Phillies are 24-16 against the Mets since Sept. 1, 2007. They are 12-9 in New York in that span. .... The Phillies ranked third in the Majors with a .988 fielding percentage entering Monday. They had made 55 errors, which was tied for second fewest in the Majors. Only Pittsburgh (54) had fewer. Tickets
Buy tickets now to catch the game in person. On the Internet
Official game notes On television
CSN On radio
WPHT 1210, WUBA 1480 (Español) Up next
Wednesday: Phillies (Cole Hamels, 7-8, 4.78) at Pirates (Paul Maholm, 7-7, 4.74), 7:05 p.m. ET
Thursday: Phillies (J.A. Happ, 10-2, 2.59) at Pirates (Charlie Morton, 3-6, 5.21), 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Phillies (TBD) vs. Braves (Tommy Hanson, 9-2, 3.12), 7:05 p.m. ET
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.