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A day after their thrilling win the Braves decide not to show up

May 3, 2012, 2:22 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

No one does getaway like the Atlanta Braves.

A night after a thrilling extra innings win and a few hours before hopping on a plane to Denver, the Braves got shutout on three hits by Joe Blanton and the Phillies, who prevailed 4-0.  And they didn’t mess about, either: they made Blanton throw all of 88 pitches. The game took a cool two hours and two minutes. It was like Greg Maddux came forward in time from 1994 and was traded to Philly for Ricky Jordan, Kim Batiste and a player to be named later.

Great work by Blanton, obviously. Pound the zone — 67 of his 88 pitches were strikes — and make the offense try to hit you.  It’s not his fault if the Braves didn’t seem all that interested in doing it.

But really, Atlanta: the next time you take a dive, at least try to sell it.  The next time you mail it in, at least put a stamp on it.  The next time you leave for getaway day, at least try to show up at the ballpark first.

  1. natstowngreg - May 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Joe Blanton pitched a Maddux? OK, mediocre starters can pitch a Maddux every once in a great while.

    • Lukehart80 - May 3, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      The Maddux is no snob, it can be had not just by the all-time greats, but by mere mortals like Joe Blanton as well.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

        This is seriously the silliest stat. I love it.

      • natstowngreg - May 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM

        Indeed. BTW, thanks for reminding me of a couple of pitchers about whom I had forgotten completely, Zane Smith and Bob Tewksbury.

      • tuloisgod - May 4, 2012 at 9:47 AM

        I once watched the inimitable Josh Fogg pull a Maddux at Coors Field, no less. Something like 92 pitches in a complete game that took under two hours. Even mere journeymen can Maddux under the right conditions.

  2. ultimatefrisbee88 - May 3, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    As a phillies fan, I remember one time in like ’06 when Jon Lieber pitched like a 4 hitter in Cincy somewhere completely out of the blue. I think it reminds me because both Blanton and Lieber are both roundish.

  3. leerosenthall - May 3, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Joe Blanton was impressive. How bizarre was THAT after Doc’s implosion last night? /smh

  4. bjavie - May 3, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Trade Blanton to the Yankees for a bat right now while he has this to stand on!!

  5. SmackSaw - May 3, 2012 at 2:46 PM


    • sasquash20 - May 3, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      He has dropped a LBs few it looks like

  6. SDR - May 3, 2012 at 2:59 PM


  7. illcomm - May 3, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    fat Joe ain’t that fat no longer. must be on the barkley diet.

    • ajcardsfan - May 3, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      It’s called Weight Watchers for Men, GOSH!

    • bleedgreen - May 3, 2012 at 10:04 PM

      His line on SNL was great.

      Some people ask me, “Charles, but isn’t Weight Watchers for girls?”, to which I reply, “SHUT UP MICHAEL JORDAN!”

  8. Jonny 5 - May 3, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Blanton stole Roys mojo when he wasn’t looking. Roy flies home to tap into his Mojo reserves. Most likely he stocked up on it in the Amazon. Something about essence of Anaconda who just tried to ingest man in the recipe…

    • bravojawja - May 4, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      Joe Blanton = Fat Bastard? Doc better call Rollergirl for help!

  9. bleedgreen - May 3, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Fat Joe heard the Early Bird Special @ Golden Corral ended at 3:30, so he did work and got the eff out of there.

  10. dawglb - May 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM


  11. sasquash20 - May 3, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Joe wasn’t up last night like everyone else. He went home early and took advantage of some tires bats. Great start Joe!

  12. pkswally024 - May 3, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    “It was like Greg Maddux came forward in time from 1994 and was traded to Philly for Ricky Jordan, Kim Batiste and a player to be named later.”

    Haha great stuff

  13. lucasatkin - May 3, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Craig, you are a stand-up writer and possibly the best baseball comedian around, but I’ve got to say that your Braves-tinted view on this is disappointing. Credit where credit’s due, Blanton pitched really, really well today. To sell it as the Braves taking a dive/day-off is kinda disrespectful on his performance. If your fifth starter shutout the Phillies today in the same manner, I can see you lauding him and talking about the Phillies’ awful offense in same measure. Blanton has pitched well this season, and to shut out a good offense like yours is a damn fine effort.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 3, 2012 at 9:02 PM

      I get what you’re saying, and I don’t mean to belittle Blanton, but look, you don’t throw an 88-pitch complete game without some help from an offense that is up there hacking. He was certainly on today, but the Braves have a history of snoozing on getaway day, they certainly didn’t put forth their best effort.

  14. xmatt0926x - May 4, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    I give Craig credit for remembering Ricky Jordan. Seems like forever ago when he and Ron Jones came along together as two great hitting prospects in the very late 80’s at a time when a generation of Phillies fans had no idea what winning baseball was. Of course Jones ended up ripping his knee apart on the Vet turf and Jordan was a decent hitter for a few years here, but nothing more.

  15. Joe - May 4, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    I see a pattern developing here. Prior to the disaster the other night, Halladay took a loss to the Cubs, and the next night Big Joe came out and shut them down, giving up only one run, I think. Granted, it was the Cubs, but still, he’s having a good season so far. Hopefully he’s not actually feeding off of Roy’s misfortune.

  16. bravojawja - May 4, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Also helpful: Neither Chipper Jones nor Brian McCann were in the lineup. Chipper hits Blanton to the tune of .350/.391/.550 and McCann is 8 for 21 with 2 HR and 1.147 OPS.

    What really bugged me was that the game started early and ended so early that I got stuck in traffic heading to a 3:00 appointment.

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