Joe Blanton Opens Three-Game Set With Dodgers

Blantonorioles
After winning their first series in nearly a month, the Phillies are over in the West Coast for six games. They'll split the next six games between the Dodgers and the Giants. Off to a good start in the second-half, the Phillies will look to remain in a winning state as they near the July 31st trade deadline. Tonight it's righty versus righty as Joe Blanton and Nathan Eovaldi go at it looking to strike first in this series. 

Tonight, Joe Blanton (7-8, 4.98 ERA) will make his first start of the second half as he aims to notch a victory to open this three-game set. In Blanton's last start, back on July 7th against the Braves, he took a loss after allowing five earned runs on nine hits through 6 1/3 innings pitched. Blanton walked just one and struck out six. In 11 straight games Blanton has allowed a home run, totalling 20 allowed this season. During his career, Blanton is known for having a strong second half. In 2010, he went 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA in sixteen starts. Eleven, of which, the Phillies won. In 30 2/3 career innings against the Dodgers, Blanton is 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA. 

Opposing Blanton will be Nathan Eovaldi (1-5, 4.21 ERA), who is also making his first start of the second half. Don't let his record fool you, Eovaldi has been handed little-to-none run support all season. Over the course of his five losses, the Dodgers have only scored four runs for him. In his last start before the break, against the Diamondbacks, Eovaldi tossed six one-run innings to earn his first win of the season. In eight starts this season, Eovaldi has walked 17 batters opposed to 24 strike outs. Tonight will be Eovaldi's first career start against the Phillies.

Tonight is Joe Blanton's night, but tomorrow is even more exciting as Roy Halladay will make his first start in over a month and a half. But that's a story for tomorrow, folks. Let's hope the Phils can get back into the groove against the second place Dodgers (48-42).

Tonight's lineup @ Los Angeles:

  1. Rollins SS
  2. Victorino CF
  3. Utley 2B
  4. Howard 1B
  5. Chooch C
  6. Pence RF
  7. Pierre LF
  8. Polly 3B
  9. Blanton P.

TV: CSN ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP.

Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.