Joe Blanton - Fifth Starter, Artistic Muse

Joe Blanton - Fifth Starter, Artistic Muse


I have no idea who created this phenomenal Joe Blanton inspired nod to Shepard Fairey's "Andre the Giant Has a Posse", but it's kind of amazing (I wish I did know who created it so I could give proper credit, but perhaps in keeping with the street artiness of it the artist prefers to remain unknown?). How long until they start popping up all over Northern Liberties?

The timing of this is spot-on as fans have rallied around Blanton since the Phils pitching staff held their State of the Rotation press conference this week. Blanton was pretty much a forgotten man during the media session. At one point Cole Hamels had to remind a reporter that, yes, Blanton helped win a World Series back in 2008.

Between the belly, the awful chin beard, his status as the forgotten man of the staff, and the way he rocks his cap brim angled up like a truck driver you'd think that Joe has major Phillie cult status potential. I know I get a kick out of him using his glove to wipe his brow between every pitch in the same sort of way I loved when Charles Barkley would grab a towel, wipe the floor, and then wipe his face.

Based on nothing other than appearance he's the one guy on the roster who looks like he'd fit in with the '93 Phillies. When he was here Matt Stairs would've too, but at this point Joe B. is the lone guy who wouldn't look out of place hanging out with Dykstra, Daulton, Kruk, Incaviglia, and the rest of that team. This fact alone is enough reason to give the guy cult status.

Regardless, the fact remains that the Phils won a World Series with a playoff starting rotation of Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, and Joe Blanton. Yeah, it's beyond amazing that one through four they'll trot out Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, and Hamels, but at the end of the day they're guaranteed nothing.

I've been a fan long enough to remember the Jose de Jesus, Bobby Munoz, Shawn Boskie, Jeff Juden dark days. The fact that Joe Blanton, who won Game Four of the '08 World Series (and also homered in that game), is now the fifth starter is nothing short of miraculous.

Joe Blaton, 6'3", 245 lbs. of Fifth Ace. Bottom line, Joe Blanton has a posse.

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

SANDY, Utah -- Joao Plata scored his first goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Union, 1-0, on Saturday night to snap Philadelphia's club-record winning streak at four games.

Plata tapped in his goal in the 36th minute after quickly exchanging short passes twice with Jefferson Savarino. Tony Beltran got the play started by saving the ball just before it went over the goal line.

The Union (4-5-5) had a chance to tie it in stoppage time, but goalie Nick Rimando blocked Haris Medunjanin's belt-high free kick and Salt Lake (4-8-2) cleared it after a scramble in front of the net.

Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made seven saves.

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.