The Philadelphia Phillies are going to have to win games early this season with fundamental and small ball but on Thursday night they utilized the style in which Charlie Manuel and the Phillies have been accustomed too for a long time with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the lineup and that was utilizing the long ball. The Phillies utilized the homerun and strong relief pitching in this game. Joe Blanton and the bullpen led the Phillies to the victory over the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The Phillies defeated the Marlins 3-1 and took this early season series which was important and they evened their season record to 3-3.
The Phillies got solo homers from Shane Victorino and Ty Wigginton which was the difference in the game. The Phillies got the lead to the ninth innning and gave the ball over to their closer Jonathan Papelbon who closed it out for the Philadelphia Phillies and got his second save on the season. What a difference two nights make and also what two wins will do for a team. It also helps that they scored runs as well.
Joe Blanton the starting pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies in Thursday night's game was not only making his first start of the season but it was his first starting assignment in almost a year. So all eyes in the ballpark on this night was on Blanton and how he would respond. Well Blanton responded well and he looked like the Joe Blanton from 2008 who helped the Phillies to the World Series Championship. Blanton was effective and he looked good. He pitched seven innings and gave up just one run on three hits. He also only walked just one batter as well. He threw a total of 85 pitches when he was pulled and Chad Qualls pitched the eighth inning setting it up for Papelbon in the ninth.
Papelbon did give up two singles in the ninth inning but he ended any hope the Marlins thought they had when the Marlins John Buck hit into the game ending double play and the Phillies got the win against their division rival. The Phillies will play the Marlins a total of six series this season and taking the first one is important.
This weekend the New York Mets, the Phillies other division rival comes to Citizens Bank Park for another important early series. The New York Mets come to Philadelphia off to a 4-2 start to their season and they have confidence and they want to prove they are for real against the Phillies this weekend. The Mets will be without their superstar, third baseman David Wright, who is hurt and will be out of this series. The Phillies this weekend want to let the Mets know that the Phillies are still the team to beat even without their two main horses, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. They want to let the Mets know that the division title still comes through Philadelphia. The New York Mets also want to prove to the Phillies that they are for real and they need to be taken seriously. This should be a very interesting series between to rivals who just don't like one another.