Don't Count Out Joe: Brewers In Town

Don't Count Out Joe: Brewers In Town

Fans around these parts have been a bit harsh on Joe Blanton lately. Criticism of his rough early start to the 2011 season may be a bit warranted, but regardless of that, all Phillies fans are pulling for him to turn it around this evening against the Brewers at CBP.

Blanton (0-1, 10.45) will take on Milwaukee's Shaun Marcum (2-1, 2.55) in the first of the three game series. The Brew crew has been inconsistent as of late, beating the Pirates in a rain-shortened two game series in Pittsburgh, yet dropping three straight over the weekend in Washington. The Phils also catch a bit of a break by missing Zack Greinke who is still on the DL with a fractured left rib which he suffered in the spring playing pickup basketball.

Chase Utley Jog Watch

According to Jim Salisbury down at the ballpark, "Chase Utley is doing running drills in the outfield" and Roy Oswalt threw a bullpen and should make his scheduled start on Thursday in San Diego.

Also on the transaction front, Brian Schlitter was returned to the Cubs after some issues with injury and how that works with waiver claims.

First pitch scheduled for 7:05. It's dollar dog night at the park, and you've got a few other local games of interest in the schedule. Manage your time wisely.

VIDEO: Here's Jimmy Ballscribe previwing the matchup.

 

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.