July 5 Camden Courier-Post
” It fell apart so quickly for the Phillies that they didn’t know what hit them.
They had a three-run lead through 6 1/2 innings, and Joe Blanton hadn’t allowed a hit since the first inning — retiring 16 of 17 batters.
He was cruising like the boats on the river just beyond PNC Park’s outfield on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
But the Pirates got to Blanton so quickly to start the seventh that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel scurried to have a reliever warm up. By the time the inning was over, the Pirates had scored six runs and sent the Phillies to an 8-5 loss.
“All of a sudden, they got to him, and they got to him quick,” Manuel said.
They also got to reliever Jose Contreras, who gave up three runs in one-third of an inning.
And the Pirates, who have the worst record in the National League, got to the Phillies (42-38) — taking three out of four in the series. The Phillies return home to play the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves in a three-game series beginning tonight that suddenly has a much greater urgency.
The Phillies trail the Braves by five games after the Braves lost Sunday.
“It’s a big homestand with the Braves, especially because we’re playing like (crap) on the road,” Blanton said. (Going) 2-5 is not going to cut it. We have to pick it up. Hopefully, we can go into the All-Star break on a good note.”
For that to happen, the Phils are going to have to stop blowing three-run leads after six innings. They did it for the third time on the trip, losing two of those games.”
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