Blanton, Phillies Look to Continue Winning Ways in HotLanta

Kevin WhiteheadContributor IAugust 14, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 06:  Joe Blanton #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on June 6, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Phillies 3-2 in 12 innings.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Phillies (64-48) move into Atlanta looking to continue their recent success which includes a 3-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs. Not even a 16 ounce beer could delouse the Phillies of their hot streak as they pounded the baseball scoring 22 runs in that span.

The Phillies, who have plated the most runs scored in the National League, will go against right-hander Jair Jurrjens, who sports the 12th best earned run average and the best name in professional sports. Jurrjens has run into a sloo of bad luck due to his poor run support of 4 runs per game. Don't let his 9-8 record deceive you. He has had great success versus the Phillies including a skinny BAA of .189. The Phillies have yet to figure this pitcher out even though they have great success against right handed pitching.

Left-handed hitters including Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley will have to go the opposite way with the back door sliders and changes Jurrjens throws. Recently the Phillies have been trying to pull the ball to the right side yielding pop flies and, for Howard's case, hitting into the shift.

The key will be to get an early lead off Jurrjens and for Blanton to settle in versus a left handed heavy lineup of the Atlanta Braves.

The Phillies will have to get back to their high octane offense and the enviroment of what manager Charlie Manuel calls--"Hittin' Season".