Cole Hamels was dealt a rare loss yesterday, proving once again the Marlins are no joke, but the Phillies can still come out ahead. Game 3 goes off at 1:35, as Joe Blanton (4-5, 5.05) tries to get his groove back against Carlos Zambrano (3-3, 3.00).
Blanton has been miserable of late, we're sorry to say, prompting a bit of a rant after his last awful outing. NASA's finest would have trouble calculating the astronomical earned run average from Heavy B's last three starts, so let's leave the numbers at that. Suffice it to say, he needs to rebound in the worst way.
Blanton defeated Miami in his first start of the season on April 12, which seems like an eternity for him, throwing seven innings of one-run ball.
He's going against Zambrano today, who will battle the Phillies for the first time in a Marlins uniform. The three-time All Star has been solid since coming over from the Cubs, but he's still prone to blow up from time to time, like he did two starts ago versus Colorado, allowing seven through five. He had it together just enough against Washington last week (6 IP, 3 ER) to earn his third victory of the year.
The last time Zambrano came at the Phils was last July, when he had one of those meltdowns we were talking about. Z was tagged for seven runs in a loss, including a Placido Polanco grand slam. Polly hasn't had much success against him otherwise, but Shane Victorino has. Returning to his post in center field yesterday, Vic is 7-for-13 lifetime against the opposing pitcher.
Lineup is below, and yes, that's Hector Luna batting in the cleanup spot today, and no, that's never happened before. Another series win against a division opponent would be huge.
Lineup vs. MIA: Rollins SS, Pierre LF, Pence RF, Luna 1B, Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Galvis 2B, Schneider C, Blanton P
— Phillies (@Phillies) June 3, 2012