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Joe Blanton and His ‘Cranky’ Elbow Earn A Win, Mad Dog Delivers Per Usual

May 10, 2011, 2:17 AM EDT

Nobody likes an impingement. That includes Phillies fifth starter Joe Blanton who pitched in his first game on Monday night in Florida after missing 2.5 weeks while attempting to rest up that pesky elbow issue. Blanton looked shaky at times on Monday night, but kept it together enough through five innings to allow the Phillies bats to put up some runs before handing the game over to the potential Joe Blanton heir Vance Worley, who allowed a lone run in three innings of relief work. Ryan Madson shut things down in the ninth, saving the game for Blanton’s first ‘W’ of the season and kick starting the Phils series in the Sunshine State.

J-Rolling

Jimmy Rolling started things off with the 36th leadoff homer of his career and later added another hit and run scored. The 1-6 spots in the lineup were good for 11 hits on the night while that annoying Black Hole (Version 2011) didn’t exactly contribute much. Pete Orr and B-Schneid went hitless.

Charlie Manuel’s gut decision to give Ross Gload a spot start paid off with the Gload-man dropping a pair of RBIs on the Marlins.

Mad Dog

It’s worth pointing out the job Ryan Madson has done while both
“crowned” closers, Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras, have been sidelined.
Madson has allowed only 9 hits and 1 earned run in 14 innings of work
all season, good for four saves, a 0.64 ERA, and most importantly, zero
blown saves or losses. Tremendous work from a guy who technically sits
third on your closer depth chart despite perhaps possessing the best
current skill set for the job. That pesky agent of his is probably
salivating.

Cranky

As for Joe Blanton’s impingement, Rich Dubee says that’s acting like a three-year old who hasn’t had his nap yet today:

“I don’t think he’s 100 percent,” Dubee said after the game. “It’s still
a little cranky. At the same time there was some rust, too.”

Blanton wasn’t sharp, but for some reason he never threw a rehab assignment, so this was his first start getting back into things. Thankfully, he went up against Javier Vasquez, who was worse.

While it may not have been the prettiest of wins, at the end of the day it was a win, and as Charlie loves to point out, the reason they play the games is to build on the win column.

Tuesday’s game with the Marlins is must-see TV for any fans of the art of pitching. Roy Halladay vs. Josh Johnson in a perfect game rematch.