Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Halladay's return to Toronto

In just under a month, a familiar face will be returning to Toronto, and fans of the Blue Jays may be on track to actually see something they missed out on last year, the chance to see the Phillies' Roy Halladay pitch at Rogers Centre.

*updated June 18th (projection)
If the rest of the month of June ends being played rain-out free by Philadelphia, Roy Halladay would probably end up being the scheduled pitcher for *Saturday, July 2nd in Toronto against Zach Stewart of the Blue Jays. (depending on how the Jays set up their rotation with off-days coming, and if Stewart is still on the major league roster in two weeks)  Originally Halladay was scheduled to pitch on Sunday, July 3rd, but the Phillies decided to have him pitch Wednesday June 15th in a double-header against the Marlins, which changed the plans.  We need good weather to follow the Phillies the next couple weeks! 

*June 27th update* Halladay could start the series on July 1st against the Blue Jays' Ricky Romero: no official announcement has been made regarding his start.  The only thing we do know, is that he will pitch in the series in Toronto.

June 29th update: The Phillies have decided on their rotation (finally!): Halladay vs. Villanueva Saturday July 2nd.

Since being dealt by the Blue Jays to the Phillies in December of 2009, Halladay has been everything the Philadelphia fans could asked for.  Last season, Halladay baffled National League hitters all season, on his way to a 21-10 record and 2.44 ERA.  He recorded a career-high 219 strikeouts, second to the Giants' Tim Lincecum for the NL lead, led the league in innings pitched with 250 2/3, and was tied with the Yankees' CC Sabathia for the Major league lead in wins with 21.

His return last season was put on hold, as was the series between the Blue Jays and Phillies, due to the G-20 meetings that took place in Toronto.  The series was played in Philadelphia, with Toronto playing as the home team, but this time no meetings are planned and the show will go on, with an outstanding pitching matchup on tap.

Halladay pitched against the Jays during the three-game set between the two teams after the series was moved, and made the Toronto hitters look foolish.  The Blue Jays managed only six hits off Halladay in seven strong innings on route to a 9-0 Phillies win, bringing his record to 9-6 at the time.  Jesse Litsch was the opposing pitcher that day, he couldn't match Halladay on the mound, and usually no one can.

Halladay's first career start against the Blue Jays was a success, but at least some Blue Jays hitters got the chance to get their first career at-bats against him.  Here is a look at the career numbers for the current Jays against the "Doc"

Jose Bautista: 1-3, double
Rajai Davis: 0-1
Yunel Escobar: 0-9
Aaron Hill: 1-3, double
Adam Lind: 0-3
Jose Molina: 1-14, double
Corey Patterson: 7-19, RBI
Juan Rivera: 0-14, 4 K

Fans of the Blue Jays will definitely be treated to a gem that day, if the schedule stays the same, but what type of ovation he ends up receiving will be one to analyze.  Halladay, known for his game-face routine even on days he doesn't pitch, will most likely not acknowledge the fans that day.  The fans will cheer when he takes the mound, but it's more likely that when he's taken out of the game, or maybe after his complete game, he will possibly tip is cap to the Toronto faithful.

Either way, the return is near, and the fans can only hope for good weather to follow the Phillies over the next month.  That way, they can finally see him on the mound again, even if it's for the visiting team.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, it looks like Doc will get the Saturday start. So even one rain out will see Doc still start here.