Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Are the Phillies turning it around?

They haven't been overly impressive over their last four games, but they are doing something they failed to do earlier in the season. They're beating the teams they're supposed to.

After taking two of three from San Diego over the weekend; although they wasted yet another strong performance from Roy Halladay that should have given them a sweep, they took the opener from Houston last night 5-1.

Joe Blanton turned in yet another dominant outing, and Placido Polanco picked up his 2,000th career hit in style, jacking a two-run shot in the eighth inning.

Blanton allowed just one run on six hits, one walk and seven strikeouts over seven strong innings. After going 2-3 with a 3.81 ERA in April, Blanton improved to 2-0 over three May starts with a 1.99 ERA. He's allowed just five runs this month over 22 innings with 20 strikeouts and just four walks.

Bazooka Joe is second on the team in wins (4), the third best ERA among starters (2.96), second in innings pitched (48.2) and still has the only complete game and the only shut-out.

He's been terrific, and if he continues pitching well he could be valuable trade bait to land a bat near the trading deadline.

Carlos Ruiz was moved up to the five-hole, a long deserved promotion. He delivered once again, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Weather permitting (unlikely) Cliff Lee will wrap up the short two-game series this afternoon. Lee is still looking for his first victory of the season.

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