WASHINGTON -- Following Tuesday's 7-4 loss to the Nationals, Joe Blanton was convinced he had figured out the main cause of his 10.45 ERA to begin 2011.
Pitching coach Rich Dubee isn't so sure Blanton is right.
In the clubhouse after the game, Blanton referenced an issue he had pitching from the stretch in 2009, when he noticed his feet were too close to each other. He said he believed that was his problem in the first two starts of this season.
"It's kind of obvious," said Blanton, who allowed five runs in six innings. "I've given up a lot of hits with runners on. I need to make an adjustment there. It's not mind-set or anything. It's the physical execution of being in the stretch."
Blanton, who said he planned to watch video Wednesday to confirm his feeling, was unavailable for comment. Dubee said he watched some film and could not agree with Blanton's assessment.
"I didn't see anything," Dubee said. "If he thinks that's the problem, I'll have to talk to him about it."
So what is the problem?
"He just alllowed innings to snowball," Dubee said.
Dubee cited two pitches he thought were especially egregious -- an 0-1 slider to Jayson Werth over the heart of the plate that was hit for a double to lead off the fourth and an 0-1 sinker to Jerry Hairston that was also down the middle and hit for a run-scoring single.
"Those are bad mistakes," Dubee said. "He's not executing."
Dubee said they will be addressed during Blanton's bullpen session Thursday.
With runners on base, opposing hitters are 9 for 18 (.500) against Blanton with three walks and three strikeouts. With the bases empty, hitters are 8 for 27 (.296) with no walks and seven strikeouts.
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