Wouldn't it be awesome if he turned in the best debut of all?
Don't laugh, because it's definitely within shooting distance when Mr. Afterthought takes the hill at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night. He'll face the New York Mets, and he's 3-1 with a 2.64 ERA when facing them over his career.
Just as importantly, none of the four pitchers that have gone before him have posted the type of untouchable lines that we might have expected. Yeah, the Phillies saw three of four pitchers perform well and they came out of it with a nice 3-1 record, but there's still an opportunity for Blanton here.
Figure that all Blanton has to do is take the field Wednesday night to best Hamels and avoid dropping the biggest stinkbomb of the rotations's first loop.
But with a little work, he can also find himself in Lee-Halladay-Oswalt territory. The Baseball-Reference Play Index reports that Blanton has posted a game score of 59 or better in 22 different starts since coming to the Phillies in 2008. He's posted a 70 score or better on eight occasions, the most recent coming last Sept. 29 when he pitched seven scoreless innings against the Washington Nationals.
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Does it really matter what game score Blanton posts Wednesday night, given that the Phillies will go through the rotation more than 30 times this season? Of course not.
But given how Blanton has handled his curious position all spring — he's been a great sport from the start — it'd be a nice way for him to break from the gate at the top.