Since the beginning of inter league play in baseball the Phillies and Blue Jays have played the role of rivals. While the bitterness of the 1993 World Series is now old enough to apply for a learner's permit, this series looks to be a pretty heated battle.
The Phillies are still looking for a spark at home, where they have a losing record. Toronto is coming off of being swept by the Florida%20Marlins">Marlins at home. The Phillies didn't have the pitching advantage in the weekend Boston series, but they look to have the edge on the mound this week against Toronto. Cole Hamels gets the start tonight for the Phillies.
Hamels is coming off one of his poorest outings lately and figures to give a good rebound performance. This will be Hamels' first career outing against the Blue Jays. Toronto will counter with rookie left hander Ricky Romero. Romero has allowed seven home runs in 16 1/3 innings so far this season. Look for the heavy hitters to pounce on the kid if he makes a mistake.
Don't forget about two key Blue Jays players; Scott Rolen and Rod Barajas. Both are former Phillies players with somewhat of a tainted history.
Rolen was on his way a great third baseman who could have made a legitimate argument as the best third baseman in franchise history, but things soiled on his image as he never seemed to fit in with the fan base or his manager Larry Bowa.
Barajas on the other hand was a free agent acquisition that never met the slightest expectations behind the plate or offensively. Add in the fact that Phillies fans already had somewhat of a love fest with the feel good story that was Chris Coste and Barajas was in a tough situation.
Toronto is 13-18 on the road this season. The Phillies are 13-16 at home.
Phillies record: 36-25
Blue Jays record: 34-31
NL East Standings (Team, record, games behind)
Pitching probables: Romero (3-3, 3.71 ERA) vs. Hamels (4-2, 4.62 ERA)
TV: Comcast Sportsnet
First pitch: 7:05pm EST
Season series: First meeting
Game open thread will be posted at 6:30pm. Game recap will be up tomorrow morning.