ATLANTA, GA: Joe Blanton #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Maybe all parties -- but the home team, especially -- were just plumb tuckered out this afternoon, when Joe Blanton pitched a shutout and the Phillies beat the Braves 4-0 and it took two hours.
Yeah. Go figure.
The Phillies did all the scoring they would need in the top of the first inning, when Hunter Pence plated Jimmy Rollins with a sacrifice fly. The score remained 1-0 until the seventh, when Laynce Nix hit a solo homer with two outs. And in the ninth, the Phillies tacked on a couple of ridiculously extraneous insurance runs when Juan Pierre led off with a single and Shane Victorino homered off reliever Livan Hernandez, making it 4-0.
Lost in the shuffle was an excellent outing by Braves rookie Randall Delgado, who entered his fifth 2012 start with a 6.30 ERA but held the Phillies to two runs and zero walks, with six strikeouts, over eight innings.
Then again, maybe it was just a day when nobody was going to hit much, and the pitchers have to be graded on a curve. How else to explain Blanton pitching his first complete game, not to mention his first shutout, since 2007? And needing only 88 pitches to do it?