Game 20: A chance to make history

Joe Blanton allowed two runs in seven innings in his last start. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)

SAN DIEGO -- The 1969 Phillies were a dysfunctional group. Not only did they lose 99 games, but star Dick Allen was suspended for a month in his final season as a Phillie, with a manager resigning in the decision's aftermath.

But those 1969 Phillies did something that has not been accomplished by 41 Phillies teams since: Shut out an opponent in three straight games.

Actually, they did it four times in a row as noted in today's Inquirer. From Aug. 13 to Aug. 16, the Phillies threw four complete-game shutouts against Atlanta and Houston. Jerry Johnson, Woodie Fryman, Grant Jackson and Rick Wise were the pitchers.

Those four lost a combined 59 games in 1969.

So with Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels already contributing 14 shutout innings against San Diego, Joe Blanton looks for the third spotless effort.

And it's not ridiculous to think it could happen. San Diego has the worst offense in the National League, maybe all of baseball. They have not scored in 21 innings. They have been shut out six times in their first 20 games this season.

The last time a team threw three straight shutouts? That would be the Mets last season -- against the Phillies, of course.


The lineup against Padres righthander Tim Stauffer:

1. Shane Victorino 8
2. Pete Orr 4
3. Jimmy Rollins 6
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Ben Francisco 9
6. Raul Ibanez 7
7. Brian Schneider 2
8. Wilson Valdez 5
9. Joe Blanton 1


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