Forget about last night’s route and move on. I don’t care if we lose 4000-1 or 4-1, a loss is a loss. Because we swept Washington, we really only need to win 1 of the games in this series to come away from the road trip successful. Let’s work on getting that done tonight and moving on. Look on the bright side. Soriano went 3-for-4 and Jeff Stevens went two shutout innings in relief. I’ll take that and get ready to win tonight.

Scouting Tonight’s Starters

Rich Harden opened the second half in much better form than he closed it. In his two starts prior to the All-Star break, Harden gave up 11 runs on 15 hits over seven innings. In his first post-break start, the right-hander held the Nationals to one run — unearned — on three hits over six innings. He seems to like the road grays. Harden is now 5-1 with a 2.17 ERA away from Wrigley Field.

Joe Blanton’s last start on Saturday was wiped out after 1 1/3 innings because of a postponement at Land Shark Stadium, but instead of losing his turn in the rotation altogether, manager Charlie Manuel figured the 28-year-old could use that as pretty much a bullpen session and start him three days later. Blanton threw 24 pitches — giving up two unofficial runs — and will be on 10 days’ rest when he takes on the Cubs. The 28-year-old has a team-high 10 quality starts this season, including seven in his past nine outings. Over that span, he is 4-1 with a 2.44 ERA. And he has been especially dominant lately. On July 5, he outdueled Johan Santana with 7 1/3 scoreless innings, and on Friday he allowed just four hits and one run over 7 1/3 innings. It was the first time he threw more than seven innings in consecutive outings since April 2008. (

Throws darting low-90’s heat, a slider and curveball–all with tremendous command. Has the endurance to finish what he starts well after 100 pitches. Doesn’t have one truly dominant pitch to rack up high strikeout totals, so he realies heavily on his defense. Is a little too hittable. A strong mid-rotation starter. (

Blanton’s Pitch Usage

Farm Notes

  • Ryan Searle only allowed one run in 6.0 innings pitched
  • Melvin Camarena was 4-for-5
  • Hector Suarez was 4-for-5
  • Greg Rohan hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Aaron Shafer struck out 5 batters and only allowed 2 earned runs over 6.0 innings pitched yesterday

Photo Op

Ryan Searle is 6-7 with a 3.78 ERA in 18 appearances this season. (Mark LoMoglio/

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail