2009 Phungo #56 Joe Blanton
The Phils and Marlins have a 3 game set this wkend in which I see the Phils taking 2 of 3 games. Often the final game of a 3 game series is referred to as the rubber game - or deciding game of the series. This weekend I see tonights game 1 as the rubber match. Cole Hamels faces Sean West on Saturday, I give the Phils the edge in that one and despite his mastery of the Fish, I don't think will have enough to beat the underrated Josh Johnson in the finale. If those games split that means game 1 is the difference maker.
Game 1 has an interesting pitching matchup also. Nolasco is a former high level prospect and a key member of the Marlins talented young rotation. Blanton who I panned a year ago has become a rock in the Phils rotation and went pitch for pitch against Tim Lincecum for most of the game last Saturday Night. . Both have subpar numbers for 09 but both have pitched well recently.
Joe Blanton has emerged as a bit of a folk hero in town. It's not just because he was a member of the World Champions - there are several factors. He was the stepchild in the 08 CC Sabathia - trade deadline sweepstakes. There is the John Kruk factor - He is a big guy. And there is the homer he hit during the World Series.
Blanton has been 13-5 (including Post Season) since coming over to the Phils. Harden has won 12 games for the Cubs, CC won 11 for the Brew Crew before he went to New York via Free Agency. As a sidenote has anybody noticed that CC has won 22 games since last years trade deadline.