Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 8/5/12
After taking the first two games of their series with the Chicago Cubsincluding Saturday's 3-2 winthe Dodgers will send their newest acquisition--31-year old Joe Blanton--to the mound Sunday afternoon, hoping he can do for them what he did when he was dealt from Oakland to Philadelphia: Help turn them into winners. Because when Joe Blanton gets traded, his new team ends up with a World Championship, then makes the playoffs every season after that. Actually, it's only happened once, when the Philadelphia Phillies acquired the right hander from the Oakland Athletics, and went on to defeat Tampa Bay in the 2008 World Series. Philadelphia went 9-4 in Blanton's thirteen starts. The Phils then made the playoffs in 2009, 2010 and 2011. "Hopefully history will repeat itself for me," said Blanton, who went undefeated (4-0) for the Phillies in 2008 after the trade. "He's the type of guy who keeps you in games and gives you a chance to win," says manager Don Mattingly. "He going to be very important to us down the stretch." The thought originally was that the Dodgers would wait until Monday or Tuesday to schedule his first start. But Mattingly realized that Blanton would be going nine or ten days between starts if he was held back. So, Chris Capuano will be starting in his regular spot on Monday against Colorado, while Aaron Harang has been pushed back until Tuesday, meaning he'll start with seven days rest. "We didn't want (Joe) going too (long) without pitching," Mattingly explained. Rookie Stephen Fife was sent back to Triple A Albuquerque to make room for Blanton in the rotation and on the roster. The native of Nashville, Tennessee is 8-9 with a 4.59 ERA. He's definitely had stretches of trouble this season, allowing a league-leading 22 home runs so far, tying him with Atlanta Braves' lefty Mike Minor. He says a flaw in his mechanics led to the ball staying up and over the plate too long, but he's corrected it, giving up just four homers in five July starts after allowing 17 in May and June combined. "I hit a ...flaw that I couldn't figure out," Blanton said. "After missing a lot of time and not pitching a lot last year, I probably wasn't as fresh as I usually was so it took me a little bit longer to fix it. "My hands weren't getting separated on time, and I was just rushing to the plate a little too quick. I feel like I've straightened it out, so hopefully I can keep it going." Blanton has superb control and does lead the league with just 1.2 walks per nine innings pitched. He's also second in the N.L.with two complete games. He'll keep the Dodgers in games virtually every time he starts, and he seems very happy to be in Los Angeles with a chance to go to the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. "I'm excited to be here," he said in his first media session as a Dodger prior to Saturday night's game. "I know it's a great ballclub over here (with) a lot of good players, a lot of talent. It should be very exciting. "This is a great place to pitch. In California you get that cool air at night, and the ball doesn't seem to travel that well here. It's a great defense playing behind me and I'm excited to get out there and play." He's also excited about the possibility of pitching in his third World Series. "It does," he responded when asked if he thought the Dodgers were a championship team. "The bullpen looks like it comes together real nice. The offense mixes some speed and power--one through eight can really do some damage. That was one of the things we always had in (Philadelphia). "They have a really good thing going here." The Dodgers are hoping Blanton can make it even better. NOTESDodger lefthander Clayton Kershaw went seven innings against the Cubs Saturday night, allowing one earned run, three hits and striking out seven. Ronald Belisario and Kenley Jansenwho earned his 21 savefinished it up for Kershaw, now 9-6. Kershaw said he's pitching well despite his won-loss totals. "I can't control my record," he said. "I'm just going out there trying to give our team a chance to win." --Matt Kemp hit a two-run home run off Cubs starter and loser Chris Volstad (0-8). It came in the fourth inning, and was his sixteenth of the season and his fourth since coming back on July 13 from a 50-game stretch on the disabled list with separate hamstring problems. He's hitting .336 with 13 RBI in the 20 games since he came off the DL. --L.A. Is a half-game behind the first-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?


Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Data shows NFL-backed youth program that claimed reduced concussions is bogus

Report: Odom’s family working hard to get him to go to rehab

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

Robbie Keane rescued on highway after running out of gas

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker