Phillies fans did a good job giving Joe Blanton a thick skin

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Calcaterra is taking a long lunch today, so I’m going to pick up the Phillies fans trolling slack with this little tidbit from the Los Angeles Times about Joe Blanton’s rough start last night:

Blanton departed from the field to the collective boos of the 56,000 fans who were drawn to Dodger Stadium by a bobblehead promotion featuring Fernando Valenzuela. … He didn’t appear bothered by the hostile send-off he received from his new home fans, who watched their team fall to the Giants twice in as many days.

“I’ve played in Philly,” Blanton said. “That’s nothing.”

Philadelphia: Preparing athletes to be booed by occasionally angry fans in other cities since forever.

Ketel Marte shut down with back injury

Ketel Marte
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With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.

It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.

Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.

Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.