The Prodigal Son Returns: Blue Jays Face Roy Halladay and the Phillies

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The Prodigal Son Returns: Blue Jays Face Roy Halladay and the Phillies
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Correction: The Prodigal Son does not return.  You can thank the G20 Summit and the infinite wisdom of Rogers Media (owners of the Toronto Blue Jays) for that.

So, instead of a bittersweet moment that would have, could have, had some legitimate intrigue and injected greater interest into a jaded fan base, we get a downtown core that looks like 1942 Berlin.

This is an issue that's been beat to death already, so I won't add to the cacophony of discontent in this piece.  In the end, it would only be white noise anyways.

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Roy "Doc" Halladay was drafted by Toronto 17th overall in 1995, and he made his MLB debut on September 20th, 1999. 

Halladay then pitched his first Complete Game on his next start, September 27th, against Detroit.

It would prove to be a harbinger of things to come.

Early in Halladay's career he was more of a power pitcher, constantly trying to strike hitters out at the cost of control and pitch counts.

After a retooling in the minors, Halladay came back a completely new pitcher.  The "Doc" was born.

With a now league-renowned work ethic, Halladay transformed himself into an innings-eating control pitcher.  He consistently showed incredible command of his pitches, including a low-90′s tailing fastball, a knee buckling change up, and a tight curve with a huge bite that can be thrown at any point in the count.

Furthermore, Halladay thrived in the toughest division in baseball for the better part of a decade. 

Twice a 20-game winner, Halladay won 16 or more games six times with the Blue Jays and went to six All- Star Games

In 2003 Halladay won a Cy Young and narrowly lost out on his second in 2008.  He arguably would have won last year if not for some poor bullpen work limiting him to just 17 wins.

The only thing missing was post-season play.

At the time of his departure, Roy Halladay stands as the Jays all time leader in winning percentage at .661 and second only to Dave Steib in wins (148) and CGSO's (15).

The NHL Entry Draft is tonight, and I haven't missed one in fifteen years.  However, wild horses couldn't drag me away from the TV as I watch the Jays face Roy Halladay.

Jesse Litsch takes the mound for the Jays.  No pressure, kid.

Halladay has actually been roughed up in his last few outings and has allowed five home runs his last two games.  He'll need to harness his control tonight as the Jays lead the majors with 111 dingers.

As for Litsch, he'll need to keep his nerves under control as he'll be matched against his idol and mentor. 

Making just his third start of the season due to an injury, Litsch was destroyed in his return on June 13th, allowing seven runs in 2.2 innings to the Rockies.  However, he redeemed himself with seven scoreless innings against the Giants last Sunday.

Last season the Jays swept the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, but with the red hot Chase Utley and Jason Werth absolutely mashing the ball lately, Litsch will need to be at his absolute best.

Someone text me if the Leafs make a trade.

For Halladay lovers, read this.

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