It's Shaun Marcum v. Joe Blanton at 6 tonight in Philadelphia. Here's tonight's pitching matchup:
Joe Blanton (10.45/4.80 FIP/ERA in 2011, 4.82/4.34 in 2010) will pitch tonight with an extra day's rest while making his third start of the season. He's been knocked around a fair amount thus far, allowing 12 runs on 17 hits in his first 10.1 innings. He has struck out ten batters, though, and walked just three. He lost to the Nationals last time out, allowing five runs on seven hits over six innings.
Blanton works around 90 with his fastball, but only throws it slightly more than 50% of the time. He fills most of the rest of the time with sliders, changeups and curveballs. Over the course of his career his changeup and slider have been his best pitches.
Blanton faced the Brewers one time last season, picking up the win on May 15. He wasn't particularly good in that game, allowing five runs on six hits over seven innings. Prince Fielder, Corey Hart and Alcides Escobar all took him deep in the game. Five Brewers have faced Blanton ten times or more:
He'll face Shaun Marcum (2.55/3.46 ERA/FIP in 2011, 3.64/3.74 in 2010), who is looking to build on his best start of the season last time out. Against the Pirates on Wednesday he pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out four.
Marcum's control has gotten a little better in each outing this season. In his first start, he tied a career high with five walks. Then he walked two in six innings against the Braves while picking up his first Brewer win. Last time out, he pitched seven shutout innings with one walk on just 94 pitches, throwing no more than 16 in any frame. That efficiency has been his biggest asset as a major leaguer: He averaged just 15.6 pitches per inning over 195.1 IP in 2010.
Marcum faced the Phillies one time in interleague play in 2010, allowing a run on five hits over six innings in a 5-1 Blue Jays win. He walked one and struck out six in the game. Raul Ibanez is the only Phillie who's faced him more than ten times: He's 4-for17 with a double and a home run for a .235/.278/.471 line.
Via Adam McCalvy, here's tonight's lineup:
Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Mark Kotsay RF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Shaun Marcum P
And in the bullpen:
Zach Braddock pitched 1.1 innings (34 pitches) yesterday.
Brandon Kintzler pitched two innings (29 pitches) yesterday.
Kameron Loe pitched .1 innings (15 pitches) yesterday.
Mitch Stetter pitched .2 innings (9 pitches) yesterday.
Sean Green pitched .1 innings (6 pitches) yesterday.
Sergio Mitre hasn't pitched since Friday.
John Axford hasn't pitched since Thursday.