Poor production is suddenly becoming a concern for the Philadelphia Phillies and their talent-laden lineup. Fortunately for Joe Blanton(notes), he has never needed much support when facing the New York Mets.
After being shut out for the second time in three games, the Phillies hope Blanton can continue his success against the Mets on Wednesday night in New York.
Though it has one of the majors’ top lineups, NL East-leading Philadelphia (26-18) has been held to three runs or fewer in five of its last seven games. The Phillies have lost three straight, including a 5-0 loss to Boston on Saturday night in which Daisuke Matsuzaka(notes) nearly threw a no-hitter.
Three days later, Philadelphia stranded 13 runners as it lost 8-0 in the opener of a three-game series with division rival New York (23-23).
“We’ve got to come out with more resilience than this,” manager Charlie Manuel said.
Phillies leadoff hitter Shane Victorino(notes) is 2 for 22 (.090) over his last six games, dropping his average from .274 to .253, and slugger Ryan Howard(notes) was 2 for 12 (.167) in four contests before collecting two hits against New York.
But the Phillies have also had their share of problems on the mound during their skid, posting a 6.58 ERA despite surrendering one home run.
Blanton (1-2, 5.06 ERA) has had a tough start to the season, but he’s 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four starts versus the Mets despite getting a total of eight runs of support over 28 1-3 innings.
Blanton did not receive a decision in his best start of the year Thursday, surrendering three runs in seven innings of a 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs. The right-hander entered the game with a 5.49 ERA in three outings after spending the first month of the season on the disabled list.
He’s facing a Mets lineup that is hitting its stride, scoring 19 runs during a three-game winning streak. Still, New York remains in last place, four games behind Philadelphia.
Bay is 11 for 20 (.550) with two home runs, five RBIs and eight runs over his last five games, and Reyes is 9 for 24 (.375) with five runs during that stretch.
“I’ve been feeling very good in my legs the last two or three weeks,” said Reyes, who has a team-high 11 stolen bases. “That’s a big part of my game.”
Hisanori Takahashi(notes) (3-1, 2.53), set to take the mound for the Mets, could have used some more production from New York’s lineup in his first major league start. The 35-year-old left-hander, replacing Jonathon Niese(notes) (hamstring) in the rotation, struck out five in six shutout innings of a 2-1 loss to the Yankees on Friday night.
Takahashi pitched 1 1-3 innings of relief against the Phillies on May 2, allowing one run and five hits.