Maybe losing Joe Blanton wasn't such a bad thing, after all. At least, not if Vance Worley has anything to say about it.
The young righty, called up to take Blanton's turn in the rotation while Blanton recuperates on the disabled list, threw six shutout innings against the New York Mets in his first start of the season on Friday night. The Phillies went on to take the first game in the series 10-0.
The Mets, winners of six of their last seven coming in, were given very little to work with from the young Worley (1-0), who fanned five over six innings, while allowing a pair of hits and walking four. He had to work himself out of a pair of jams -- including a two-on, one-out situation in the first inning thanks to a pair of errors -- but was impressive in his season debut.
While he was dealing, the offense was tuning up Mets' starter Mike Pelfrey (1-3), who continued his struggles at Citizens Bank Park, where he was 1-2 with a 9.55 ERA coming into Friday's contest.
After an easy go of it the first time through the order, Pelfrey ran into trouble in the fourth, when Jimmy Rollins singled to lead off the inning, before allowing a towering home run to Ryan Howard to put the Phillies on the board. The Phightins added a pair of runs in the fifth, when Ben Francisco roped a bases loaded single to left field that plated both Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco to put the Phils up 4-0 while chasing Pelfrey from the game.
They were far from finished, because in the sixth inning, the bases were loaded for Ryan Howard, who sent a 2-2 pitch over the right field fence for his first grand slam of the year and second homer of the game to give the Phillies an 8-0 lead. An inning later, they would add a pair of runs on a two-RBI single from Polanco to end their scoring.
Michael Stutes and Danys Baez both tossed an inning of scoreless relief before turning it over to David Herndon, who allowed a pair of homers in the top of the ninth before finishing the Mets off and giving the Phillies the 10-3 win.
The series continues on Saturday, when the Phillies (17-8) send Roy Halladay (3-1, 2.41) to the mound to take on Jonathon Niese (1-3, 5.10). These two matched up on April 7, with Halladay leading the Phillies to an 11-0 rout.