Magic Number Shrinks to 2

25 Sep
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The month of September becomes a little more amazing everyday.  Last night the Phillies won their 11th straight game.  Their record in the month of September is 18-3 (.857) and they are just a win and a Braves loss away from locking up their fourth straight National League Eastern Division title.

Shane Victorino provided the pop for the Phils, hitting a lead off homer to start the game, and he followed it up with an RBI double in his second at bat .  Carlos Ruiz singled in the winning run that pulled the Phillies back in front of the Mets for good. 

Joe Blanton pitched 7 very strong and effective innings against the Mets last night giving the Phillies every opportunity to win, and they did.  Joe allowed just 2 runs on a homer to Angel Pagen, and that was it.  Blanton used a minuscule 74 pitches to get through his 7 innings and turned the game over to Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge.

With all the hype surrounding the Big Three I think that we forgot we even had a pitcher named Joe.  Though Joe has had probably his poorest season as a member of the Phillies, he has pitched very well the last two months.  Being number 4 behind Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt is a pretty nice position to have, and Joe doesn’t really care about the spotlight.

“I’m here to win. I’m not here to say I want to start or anything,”
Blanton said. “I’m here to get another ring and that’s more important to
me than anything. The rest of the stuff doesn’t matter.”

joey.jpg

Post game the buzz was all about Chase Utley and the hard slide he made going into second base in the 5th.  He didn’t break of the play but he sure took out Ruben Tejada.  Utley avoided the media after the game but this morning he spoke with MLB.com.

“I have never ever attempted to break up a double play with the intent
to injure someone,” he told MLB.com. “I understand what it’s like to be
taken out. I’ve been kicked, kneed, elbowed, spiked and even flipped
upside down. And as much as I might not have liked it at the time, I
understand that it’s all part of being a Major League second baseman.
Second basemen have had to deal with this for over 100 years. And with
that said, we as a team play the game hard and play it to win. That is
not going to change.”

The Mets were pretty displeased by Utley’s play, and Mets manager Jerry Manuel promised that his team would, “take care of
it,” while third baseman David Wright said his teammates need to
“reevaluate” the way they go into second base.

“You can ask him.
He’s a second baseman. If he wants guys sliding like that into him, then
it’s perfectly fine,” Wright said. “He knows how to play the game. If
he doesn’t mind guys coming in like that when he’s turning a double
play, then we don’t have any problem with it. It’s a legal slide. It’s
within the rules. But somebody is going to get hurt. So I guess that’s a
better question for him.”

Tonight is looking to be an interesting night.

Come over and join the discussion on my Facebook!
I’m now part of the PhilaPhans crew.  Four for four, Since 2002. 
I also Twitter if you do that sort of thing.   

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