Philles set Blanton for Game 4


Hot off the Twitter presses: Charlie Manuel will go with Joe Blanton in Game 4 instead of Cliff Lee on three days’ rest. The Yankees will presumably counter with their ace CC Sabathia. This move plays into the morning post about the Phillies giving the Yankees an advantage. Lining up Sabathia against Blanton certainly gives the Yankees that edge and could put the pressure on Cliff Lee in a potential elimination Game 5. In his career with Oakland against the Yanks, Blanton is 0-3 with an 8.18 ERA in four starts. Most of that damage came on May 5, 2005 when the right-hander gave up nine earned runs in 2.2 innings of work. Still, he has walked more Yanks than he has struck out and has allowed five home runs in 22 innings.

Categories : Asides


  1. Steve H. says:

    I just hope “Free Swinging Nick Swisher” (per Eric Young) is back in the lineup.

  2. themgmt says:

    Flipping Sweet.

  3. Mike bk says:

    wow. now if andy wins tomorrow then lee will be pitching to survive against AJ in game 5. this is a bad move by manuel who if lee is his horse needed to ride him for 1, 4 and maybe 7 and fill blanton in for pedro in game 5, but as a yankee fan i have to love it.

  4. TheLastClown says:

    I haven’t followed the Phillies, so I don’t know Manuel’s managerial style. However, it seems likely to me that he re-finagles this move if & when Hamels gets beaten tomorrow.

    • I’m not so sure. If Lee is in line to throw on Monday, he’ll throw a bullpen tomorrow before the game. Maybe they can hold the bullpen until during the game, but if he throws it there’s little to no chance he pitches on Sunday.

      • TheLastClown says:

        True, true. I guess the way Manuel said it he is pretty set on going Lee for game 5.

        Seems incomprehensible to me.

      • RKelly39 says:

        Maybe somebody answered this aleady but what if Sunday is rained out? Will they go with Lee? Everyone is billing a potential rain out as a Yankee advantage. Now I’m not so sure.

  5. Rose says:

    Said this earlier…


    and followed with…


    He’s not THAT bad…he’s no CC Sabathia…but he’s been pretty effective this season…especially for a back end rotation guy…

    • Chris says:

      Cliff Lee = Sabathia > Other Yankee Pitchers >> Blanton

      Anything the leads to Lee only possibly starting 2 games in the series is fine with me.

      • Rose says:

        Pedro was pretty good too though…and we haven’t seen Hamels yet. During the season it seemed as though all those struggling (formerly nasty) pitchers always found their groove when they faced us (including Cliff Lee after being shelled in his first 2 starts in the season; Kazmir is another example during the season). You just never know.

        But yes, Sabathia is still better than them. We just really need a great start out of Pettitte.

        If we win tomorrow night’s game it’ll be HUGE. Then again, like they all say. Everygame is huge.

  6. Michael Kay says:

    I’ll believe it when Joe Blanton throws his first pitch in game 4….I don’t even know that I’ll believe it if he’s warming up before the game.

    • Chris says:

      Technically, once the lineup cards are exchanged he has to face at least one batter.

      Seriously, though… as Joe mentioned above, when this gets set in stone is when Lee throws his bullpen session tomorrow.

  7. steve s says:

    A good litmus test as to how bad a move having Lee pitch Game 5 is will be the Philadelphia media reaction. I’m sure they will rip Manuel a new one. Thanks so much Charlie!

  8. This…doesn’t seem smart.

  9. Cam says:

    So Yanks go with CC game 4, then depending on the situation, who’s next in 5? DO you think they only use Gaudin if they’re up 3-1? If it’s 2-2, we gonna see AJ on short rest? So many questions about the rotation. Hopefully next year Joba or Hughes ends all these questions if we get back to the ALCS or WS.

    • crux says:

      They can go with Gaudin in Game 5 if they are up 3-1. We still have 2 tries to close it out and Burnett can start at home and on normal rest.

    • Jersey says:

      Imagine if we still had Wang. *sigh*

    • Given how good AJ looked last night, and really, all postseason minus that hiccup in Anaheim, and given how good A.J. has been on short rest in his career (4 starts, 2.33 ERA, .192/.279/.293 against in 27 innings), I’d say AJ gets Game 5 on short rest and Gaudin does not start a game this series.

      • Steve H. says:

        Gaudin starting = Guaranteed loss

        Gaudin would be an all-star if it weren’t for that little thing about LHB’s. Something tells me Utley/Howard/Ibanez/Rollins/Victorino might have an absolute field day against him, in either stadium.

        I like Gaudin, but the only way he should see the mound in this series is a 10 run game, either way.

    • MattG says:

      Its just too early to talk about it, but I like the idea of Gaudin and others taking one for the team on Monday:

      1. Cliff Lee is having the run of his career. It’s likely to continue, and even last night’s AJ, who pitched his very best game but still needed 100 pitches for 7 innings, will be hard pressed to match Lee at the moment.

      2. Every non-Mo reliever is struggling, so having Pettitte available in relief, against a lefty-heavy lineup, would be sweet.

      3. If for some reason, Burnett-Pettitte-Rivera doesn’t get it done in game 6, you still have CC vs Hamels at home for game 7.

      • TheLastClown says:

        Someone should drop off an arcane binder full of odious spreadsheets on Manuel’s doorstep.

        Actually, on second thought, lets keep em.

        Scioscia & Manuel >>>>>>> Girardi

        Let’s just accept it.

      • Tank Foster says:


        Lee has pitched two incredible games. Big deal. So did CC in Anaheim….

        Doesn’t mean he won’t get hit next time. In the Rockies second game against Lee, they scored 3 runs in 7 innings and Lee needed 117 pitches to get through 7. The Yankees can hit him.

        I don’t believe in pitching Gaudin because you are admitting a loss. I believe you consider pitching him if you’re up 3-1 and you want to maximize your chances in games 6-7. If Gaudin pitches game 5, and Burnett game 6 on full rest, then in game 7 you’d have BOTH Pettitte and Sabathia on full rest. Two lefties, in YS3. I like the odds of winning one of two at YS with three fully rested pitchers, and the Phillies not having Lee available to start either game.

  10. Jersey says:

    Clearly Manuel would rather get one sure start out of Lee than risk two starts on short rest.

  11. Free Mike Vick says:

    First we get “good” AJ!!

    now this.


  12. Obviously, Charlie Manuel is thinking… I don’t know WHAT THE HELL he’s thinking!


  13. Salty Buggah says:

    When I read this post, there were 27 comments…

  14. Free Mike Vick says:

    It was May 14th…not may 5

  15. SCT says:

    Speaking of game 4, anyone else looking forward to CC hitting in the 9 hole? Maybe bat CC 7th and Swisher 9th? j/k.

  16. E-ROC says:

    Hopefully, we get the good AJ on short rest away from Yankee Stadium.

  17. Dela G says:

    hmm i smell a good chance at a win here

  18. Riddering says:

    This feels a lot like the pitching choices Scioscia made last Sunday.

    I like it.

  19. YankeeScribe says:

    I’m not going to count my chickens before they hatch. This move will look dumb only if the Yankees win tomorrow. If the Phillies win tomorrow and take a 2-1 lead, it’s not totally necessary to start Lee on 3 days rest

  20. BklynJT says:

    Hopefully we can take advantage of this move by game 3 and 4.

  21. Nervous Nellie Debbie Downer says:

    Of course, the downside to this “advantage” of ours is that, should Blanton manage to pull one of those “Yankees-fail-to-touch-journeyman-pitcher-or-unseen-rookie” acts, then game 5 has a fully rested Cliff Lee going to either win the series or put Philly up 3-2.

    I’ll feel muuuuuuuuuuch better after the Yankees win game 3.

  22. TheZack says:

    God its nice to see people off the “Guadin MUST start game 5″ juice here.

    I can’t fathom Girardi would basically take an automatic loss by pitching Gaudin vs. Lee, but you never know.

    And yes, I know nobody can predict this game of baseball, but if anything ever looked like an automatic, its Gaudin vs. Lee…

  23. Jay says:

    I really don’t get this move. How many times has it been said? If somebody is going to beat you, make them beat your BEST. I know Rose keeps pointing out that Blanton is pretty good. Yeah well, so was Joe Saunders. The right move was to start Weaver who is a much better pitcher.

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