A beautiful day to begin the week as the Phillies should have been greeting the Toronto Blue Jays at CBP.
I don’t know about you, but Toronto will always have a special place in my Philadelphia sports heart because we share the memory of Hall of Fame pitcher, the late Roy Halladay. Halladay played most of his stellar 16-year career in Toronto, but he played the last quarter of it in Philadelphia.
What he gave us ... was perfect. Literally.
In 2010 alone — Halladay's first season in Philadelphia — he authored a perfect game, a playoff no-hitter and won his second Cy Young Award (he gave Carlos Ruiz a replica trophy for putting down the right signals that season, remember?)
The Phillies would've been playing their second home series. The teams have played six times during the past two seasons with one run separating the total score (27-26). Toronto won four of the six, however.
The teams were scheduled for two more in Toronto in mid-September.
Despite missing the playoffs last season, the Jays have some talent, starting at shortstop with 22-year-old leadoff man Bo Bichette. Bichette played in 46 games last season and hit .311 with a .930 OPS, projecting nearly 40 home runs over a full season. Good glove, good speed too.
Toronto's first four spots in the roster are homegrown talent ending with cleanup up hitter, the young stud, Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. Guerrero made his major league debut last season at age 20 and hit .272 with 15 home runs and 69 RBIs in 123 games.
His father was a former MVP primarily for the Expos and Angels and young Vlad could be headed for a similar career. The elder Guerrero was a major Phillie-killer — his .371 batting average and 31 home runs (91 games) against the Phillies were his most vs. any team.
The first three starters are new faces in the Blue Jays rotation. The club solid lefty signed Hyun-Jin Ryu from the Dodgers, traded for Chase Anderson from the Brewers and signed Tanner Roark from the A’s.
Toronto's closer? Former Phillie Ken “100 Miles” Giles. After a shaky end to his run in Houston, Giles bounced back last season with a 1.87 ERA in 53 innings with 83 strikeouts.