The following is a series preview that was kindly and skillfully written by Ian over at The Blue Jay Hunter. And, despite being the longest post in zoowithroy.com history by approximately 20,000 words, I think you should definitely check it out. I also wrote a thing for him, so you can go check that out too. Seriously, yo, this weekend represents the most important away games we'll ever play at Citizen's Bank Park, so you'd better read this. Plus, Ian's presumably Canadian, which means his mom and/or girlfriend (most likely the former) probably makes a mean maple syrup, which is great on funnel cake.
It’s just like the Zoo With Roy T-Shirts say: you have 84 Home Games, Tasers, Roy Halladay, Your Signs. (editor's note: seriously, that shirt rules) I’m only particularly jealous about two of those things (okay maybe three), but that doesn’t mean the Blue Jays and Phillies can’t have a great series this weekend.
So originally this one was scheduled to be played in Toronto and it was billed as Doc’s homecoming after signing with the Phillies. Then the G20 had to go and mess everything up!
The Blue Jays were hoping the series would still take place in Toronto despite the huge security checkpoints and road closures, but unfortunately the promotion they pitched “First 10,000 fans get a free cavity search” didn’t so over too well, so on to Philadelphia we go.
You know those kind of breakups when one person is really really really devastated, but then finally after four months they finally put some pants on and things aren’t so bad anymore? That’s kind of what it’s like for the Toronto Blue Jays.
They have remained amicable with Roy Halladay and actually have fared pretty well without him in the starting rotation, but watching him toss that perfect game only left us wondering “what if that had happened in Toronto”?
My feelings on the subject can be best summed up by a great unknown baseball poet that once said:
“If you truly love something, set it free. And if it comes back to you after winning two World Series rings and a couple of Cy Young awards, then it was meant to be all along.
Jose Bautista (Who?) Leads the Majors in HRs
At the beginning of this season, Jose Bautista could walk anonymously through the city of Toronto and not be recognized. Okay, who am I kidding … he could still walk through the city without being hounded for autographs. The only difference between then and now is he is the Major League leader in home runs.
How did this come to be? Well, apparently retooling his swing last season coupled with turning on pitches a little earlier has been the key to Bautista’s resurgence. Phillies pitchers should avoid throwing Jose any inside heat, because he will crush it into the third deck.
And don’t feed him a steady diet of breaking balls, because he’ll draw a walk as well. So what’s the best strategy? Just come at him with a razor and shaving cream because just like Jayson Werth, he’s averse to being clean-shaven.
The Kids Are Alright
Let’s be honest, Roy Halladay left a gaping hole in the Blue Jays starting rotation the size of Pennsylvania. Yet, nobody anticipated the Blue Jays young starters to pick up where Doc left off.
Maybe he sprinkled them with some of his magical pixie dust before he left or something, because each of their five starters (Marcum/Romero/Cecil/Morrow/Litsch) have flashed moments of brilliance so far this season.
Be on the lookout for Romero and Cecil’s changeup, Ricky Romero’s changeup, Shaun Marcum’s cutter, and not only Jesse Litsch’s fondness for Little Debbie snacks, but his striking resemblance to her as well. Must be the freckles.
For an Interleague series at the end of June, this may not be a pivotal set of games for either team, but the emotional stakes are far much higher than ever before. If both clubs can come out and set their offense dials to 11, we’ll have one heck of a series between two heavy-hitting lineups.
And Roy, please don’t make the Blue Jays look too bad out there.
Maybe when you’re done visiting the Philadelphia Zoo, you’ll come back and check out the Toronto Zoo. I hear the polar bear exhibit is open again. If you promise to return, we’ll name the little guy “Doc” for you.