Based on one start in red pinstripes, the scouting reports on Joe Blanton appear to be accurate. The big right-hander pitches to contact with a four-pitch mix and won’t miss many bats.
Blanton’s start can be dissected like this. He located his breaking ball well in the first two innings. He started to miss in the third, committing the cardinal National League sin of walking Jose Reyes to start an inning. The Mets would follow by scoring three runs on three hits, the big blow coming on a 3-2 breaking ball down and in, right near the spot where Carlos Delgado likes it. It was a questionable decision to go inside breaking ball with a base open. Afterward, Blanton was reportedly stunned that Delgado tagged him. After Marlon Anderson opened the fourth with the third infield hit of the ballgame, Blanton induced a big double-play ground out, his 13th of the season. He appeared to settle in until two outs in the sixth when another untimely walk was followed by Ramon Castro’s two-run homer on a hanging slider. Unglued and tired, he nearly hit the next batter, Johan Santana, but issued a free pass instead.
Blanton’s final line read five runs on eight hits and three walks over six innings. He could have easily let up six or seven runs had it not been for Endy Chavez getting gunned down twice at home with nobody out – something that should never, ever happen. Blanton’s lone strikeout came against Santana.
It wasn’t the debut the Phillies were hoping for, but they emerged victorious, so no harm, no foul. First impressions: He needs to locate or he’ll struggle like yesterday, and his supporting defense must be sharp. None of his pitches appear to qualify as an out pitch, although his curveball does carry some nice, tight action. He's also tough to run on.