Werth’s Slam Helps Blanton Exact Revenge

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, September 16, 2009 11:39 PM | Comments: 23
2009 Recaps, Posts

With a 50-94 record coming into Wednesday’s game, not many people have struggled against the Nationals. Count Joe Blanton as one of the very few who have.

Blanton went into the middle game of the three-game set sporting an ERA above seven versus the cellar dwellers.  In his last outing, which happened to be against Livan Hernandez, he allowed a season high eight earned, and did not make it out of the fifth.

Those previous struggles turned into a six-inning shutout against the lowly Nats, as Blanton fanned seven in the Phillies 6-1 win.  Things started rather shaky for Big Joe, as he seemed unable to locate any of his pitches early on.  With four walks in all, plus five hits, Blanton did a fine job with damage control, keeping the Nationals from touching home plate.

Chan Ho Park and Ryan Madson then followed up with scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, before Tyler Walker allowed the lone run of the ball game in the ninth.  The three relievers sealed it up for Blanton’s 10th victory of the season.  The run scored by Washington was the first given up by Walker since July 29, skyrocketing his ERA to 1.93.  However, the Phils pitching staff as a whole narrowly missed recording three consecutive shutouts for the first time since August of 1969.

On the chilly, damp night at Citizens Bank Park, the flags were moving in from right field, meaning the lefty pull hitters would have a tough time reaching the seats.  The whipping winds were evident throughout as routine fly balls became anything but.

The Phillies jump started their evening with a rarely seen double steal, as Ryan Howard successfully stole second, while Chase Utley capitalized on the mistake by catcher Jesus Flores, scoring run number one.  It was Utley’s 20th steal of the year, giving him 20 home runs and 20 steals for the first time in his career.

In the sixth inning, another fielding blunder by Washington led to Raul Ibanez scoring on a near double play off the bat of Pedro Feliz.  The 124th error of the Nats season made it 2-0 Phils.

As the Phillies continued to refine their small ball approach, Jayson Werth decided it was time for a change.  Without a homer since Game 1 of the doubleheader on Sunday, the Phillies used the long ball to break Wednesday’s game wide open.

With the bases loaded in the seventh following an Utley hit by pitch, a Howard intentional walk, and another walk to Raul Ibanez, Werth used that jet stream out to left to his advantage.  He nailed a 2-2 offering from Jason Bergmann deep into the left-center field seats, giving the Phillies plenty to work with for the final two innings.

And finally, the bullpen took advantage of the situation, leaving the heart stopping antics at home for at least one night.  As the Phillies moved their record to 14-3 against Washington this year, it was all about Joe Blanton and his about face from a week ago, and Jayson Werth’s continued evolution as one of the best power hitters in the game.  A sweep would sure look sweet this late in September.  Tomorrow, Cole Hamels will try to make it happen.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1677 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 justin

    is it me or has Tyler Walker not gotten is due. i feel like he has pitched far better then any of us thought he’d do. THIS IS TO YOU TYLER(as i chug my ice cold natty light). keep on keeping on

  • Posts: 0 jt

    man werth crushed that grand slam it prolly would of went even further if not for the wind…btw gay rod just blew it down in ATL.

  • Posts: 0 nate

    best part… werth is up and mlbnetwork goes live to the philly feed (live, not delayed replay). the anchor says “he’s got some power. let’s see if he can hit a grand slam.” immediately after he says that, next pitch… outttta here!

  • Posts: 0 marty

    down to 11

  • Posts: 0 jt

    braves just won on error by murphy.

  • Posts: 0 Grrrumpy Miner

    God….I am lucky I have a sense of humor,because the Mets are just about comical and give me a good laugh everyday.All we need is Gallagher and his Sledge-O-Matic to complete this 2009 season.My God,2 1/2 weeks till this joke of a season is mercifully over.So how are youse guys doing? lol I almost wish the Nats would get on a hot streak and pass the Mets in the standings.

  • Posts: 0 Mike D.

    I won’t feel comfortable until we have a bigger lead than we have games to play. No magic number. Just play and win the game, ya dig?

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Yea Tyler is great. He game up the only run in three games. Pathetic. I drink my sprite. The Marlins said after there game today they will not only sweep the Phillies but catch them. They said the Phillies are not as great as people give them credit. I say we take that AAA team and spank them.

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    Jeff, I hope that all the Phillies players caught whiff of what the Marlins said. The Phils generally play the Marlins better in Miami that they do in Philly. Because of that, I think that the Phils will take two of the three games down there next week. Will split the DH and take the final.

  • Posts: 0 Maury Povich

    Phillies Dad…You are not the Father….

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    …that’s according to my sources…The “family” will appear on the Today’s show this morning.. But the “True Hollywood” story won’t air until December….

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    Florida better concentrate on their upcoming four game series in Cincinatti who just took three games from Houston. Hard to believe that the Reds and Marlins have only played twice so far this year with a split in Miami back during the early part of the season. Go Reds!

  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    Yeah the Marlins are hard to figure out sometimes…. They had a great series vs the opp before(I forget who)maybe the Braves, but is was a good team.. Then they lose 2/3 to the Nats….They Sweep the Cards and now they?…..Beats me… But this certanly proofs how inexp they are as a group…. We got a gift with 10 straight vs Mets and Nats…. We have gone 7-2 so far… 9-1 was what I thought the Phils should’ve done ..We can’t loose the 3rd game today vs Nats like we did last week… We’re 7 up with 18 to go with maybe only one off day til end of season…The Phils have nothing to worry about unless their swept in a series…. The upcoming road trip could be a trap if they let their guard down.. I think they’ll be fine…..

  • [...] The Phillies Nation blog adds more detail the first inning Utley/Howard double-steal and the Phils&#… Ryan Howard successfully stole second, while Chase Utley capitalized on the mistake by catcher Jesus Flores [Wil Nieves], scoring run number one.  It was Utley’s 20th steal of the year. [...]

  • Posts: 0 george55

    the longer you keep lidge away from the mound the longer your win streak. Can we keep him away until next spring (after a stint in the Little Leagues)? That would be cool….I was surprised that the phils only got the one run by a rare double steal (brilliant!); they could be really padding their stats against the Nads (as in gonads).

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Y.

    Great win. Werth is the man!! I can’t wait until next year when the Muts break up that AA team they have. Can you say Fire sale? Fred Coupon will run that Mickey Mouse oganization like the Pirates.

  • Posts: 0 bob

    LOL @ the Marlins

    They have had opportunity after opportunity to keep this thing close or take the division lead.

    If it’s true that they are running their mouths, I hope they do so with their 27 fans come October 7th.

    How sweet it would be to possibly clinch against them either in Florida or Philly.

    They seem to be talking pretty bold for a team that is 7 back.

    The great thing is even if the Phils win 1 or 2 of the 6 games they are still in great shape. And we will see how things with Atl play out.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    The Marlins are trying to get in the Phils heads to throw them off the game. Their only chance is a catastrophic collaspe. Nice try, better luck next decade.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Look…..anything can happen. BUT……it’s pretty much a done deal for this division. I seriously doubt if the Phils lose all 6 games to the Marlins. And, even if they did, they are up 8 games in the loss column with at least one (2 maybe?) games more to play than the Fish.

    The thing is you want to play your best no matter what. I can see Charlie resting guys and getting the bench some work if the Phillies clinch early. But you don’t just want to lose games, either. Going for the best record in the NL is DEFINITELY within reach.

  • Posts: 0 bob

    Whoops…..lets hope the clincher is not in Philly being that we have the last series of the season against them.

    Does anyone have a link with any quotes from them?

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    The Fish head to Cincinnatti for a four game series…
    Sanchez / Maloney (advantage: Sanchez)
    VandenHurk / Bailey (advantage: Bailey… he’s been nasty of late)
    Nolasco / Arroyo (advantage: Arroyo… 2.33 ERA in second half)
    West / Wells (adv: West)

    Our next four are against the Nats and Braves (3); bottom two are TBA but this is how I see it:
    Hamels / Detweiler (adv: Hamels)
    Happ / Hudson (adv: ? not sure if Happ will go but as it is, it’s a toss up)
    Martinez / Vazquez (adv: Vazquez)
    Lee / Hanson (adv: Lee)

  • Posts: 0 Matt Kwasiborski

    Nothing is over until it is over. We are up 7 with 7 games in hand with the Fish. We also embark on an 11 game road trip starting with 3 in ATL who will be fiesty, 4 with the Fish (DH on Tuesday) and 4 with the Brew Crew. I am not ready to call us winners until we actually clinch.

    Nats are horrible. It is like watching the 1988 Phils again! I think the end of the game should have been Lidge time. I mean it was perfect setup from Park-Madson- so why not put Lidge in there? I think Walker should have gone into Madson’s spot. I mean the game isn’t close, so why put Madson in there? These are the games where rest only helps a bullpen this time of year.

  • Posts: 0 mikeB

    Yeah, in regards to the Marlins, it is hard to say which Marlins team is going to show up in any particular series; the world beaters or your run of the mill average team.

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