Joe Blanton will give you the scoop straight from the horse's mouth: his command has suddenly disappeared.
Beerleaguer: Pretty simple. If you're Joe Blanton, and you can't locate your fastball, you're going to get torched, and that's precisely what has happened over his last three turns. Location is a matter of survival for Kentucky Joe; when he's keeping the ball down and hitting the corners, he's a legitimate weapon. In his first seven starts, he surrendered just two home runs, yielding a 2.81 ERA. In the three starts since, he's given up eight home runs while totting a 12.51 ERA. In Tuesday's loss, his fastball was routinely up, and crushed, by the Mets' marginal offense.
“I was able to make pitches down and on the corners in my first seven starts,” Blanton told CSNPhilly.com. “Now, it’s like middle-in or middle-in and up. The command is not there right now. I thought I had it fixed. I thought I had a good bullpen [session leading up to this start.] I just have to start over and try to find it still."
The Phillies remain four games behind the Nationals in the division standings while the surging Marlins and Mets head enter Wednesday's action with identical 28-22 marks.
Minor moves: The Halladay domino effect is being felt down on the farm. Right-handed starter Austin Hyatt was moved from Lehigh Valley to Reading and INF Tug Hulett, who has spent parts of two seasons with the Mariners and Royals, was promoted to Lehigh Valley to fill the roster vacancy left by Erik Kratz, who was called up to the show for a third time Tuesday. Tom Cochran rejoins the IronPigs rotation after spending time on the disabled list.