Friday, July 1, 2011

Phillies Preview with Crashburn Alley, The Fightins and Zoo with Roy


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Original image courtesy of BlogTO
I'm sure you've noticed that we're very fortunate to have such a high quality of writers in the Blue Jays blogosphere, and I think it's safe to say the same applies to our counterparts in the Phillies blogosphere.

Admittedly, I don't read a bevy of blogs outside the usual Blue Jays sites, but when I do, it's usually to one of Crashburn Alley, The Fightins or Zoo With Roy to see what shenanigans are happening in Phillies Land.

I tend to think of them as the Holy Trinity of Philadelphia Phillies sites. Or for those who prefer to think of things in Zelda terms, they're the golden Triforce of Phillies blogs.

Each of them were gracious enough to answer three questions about this weekend's series in Toronto in which we touched on Roy Halladay, Jose Bautista and the Phillies' weaknesses (if there are any):

1.) Roy Halladay's homecoming to Toronto has been a long time coming. Have you been pleased with the results of Harry Leroy Halladay III thus far as a member of the Phillies?

CBA: Um, I guess. I mean, he won the NL Cy Young award unanimously, but he could have made it more convincing! And that post-season no-hitter could've been a perfect game!

On a serious note, Halladay has been nothing short of amazing since coming to Philadelphia. A perfect game and a no-hitter in the same season, a Cy Young, 21 wins, a sub-2.50 ERA...

And now, a year later, he's EVEN BETTER. His K/9 last year was 7.9; this year, it's 8.7. In 2007, it was 5.6. This is like Jesus performing all his miracles and stuff, and then we find out that he's been working out, too. With Vin Diesel.

Fightins: I assume you asking me if I'm pleased with the results of Roy Halladay is a joke so I won't even entertain you with an answer. He's only like the best thing that's happened to Philadelphia baseball in the past decade other than that time we won the World Series, duh.

I do feel bad for Torontians, though. It would be tough to swallow to see a guy like that leave your squad and instantly become a legend the next place he went. Perhaps you can take solace in the fact that us Philly fans, despite what our reputation might have you think, are treating him properly and appreciate what he does.

ZWR: Not really. I'm actually kind of disappointed. Frankly we were all expecting more, and for him to be a better human teammate. But there's little I can do to change that, I suppose. DUDE ARE YOU NUTS HE'S THE BEST THING EVER AND THAT INCLUDES STROMBOLI!!!

2.) What are your thoughts on Jose Bautista? And should Phillies pitchers be fearful of him?

CBA: I've actually become a huge fan of Bautista's. I love it when players come out of nowhere and enjoy considerable success. I have also admired how he's handled all of the hand-wringing surrounding his success, i.e. the PED accusations.

Bautista had been in a slump for about a month. From May 29 to June 21, he only hit one home run and his triple-slash line was .269/.400/.333. He's come on as of late, and yes, the Phillies should fear him, since the Jays don't have too much thunder surrounding him.

Adam Lind is the only other hitter that should be feared, but that's on a much lower level than the Bautista fear. I don't want to say the Phillies should intentionally walk Bautista in important situations, but they certainly shouldn't give him anything to hit.

Fightins: He's a baaaaad man.

My favorite players have always been those mashers who just murder baseballs and intimidate opposing pitchers merely by standing in the batters box. And those right-handed, power hitting corner outfielders that I love so much are becoming extinct. I think it's only he and Ryan Braun left.

To be honest with you, I don't watch much AL baseball, but I frequently type 'Jose Bautista' into the MLB.tv video search bar just to watch his highlights. There's only 2 or 3 non-Phillies I do that for. Enjoy him.

ZWR: I think he's one of the more unique stories in the game. It's as if (I'll use a hockey analogy to endear myself) Justin Williams just up an scored 86 goals for two straight seasons. Seemed like a nice enough player all along, but is he really this insane? I guess so. Huh.

Our pitchers should be cautious, but not ever fearful. Or they should just bean him every at bat.

3.) If there's one weakness the Blue Jays might be able to exploit in this series against the Phillies, what would it be?

CBA: The Phillies' inconsistent offense. Including last year, the offense has gone into peaks and valleys, with the valleys lasting seemingly longer than the peaks. They can go long stretches of time scoring few runs, such as May 31 to June 9). The good news (for us) is that with a killer pitching staff, scoring a bunch of runs isn't a prerequisite to winning.

If the Jays want to walk away with a series win, they'll have to find a way to beat the starting pitching, and someone not named Ricky Romero will need to hold the Phillies offense at bay.

Fightins: If the Blue Jays have a soft-tossing, junk left-handed pitcher in the minors, they might wanna think about calling him up -- because the Phillies can't hit those guys. Other than that, I guess you could call our mid-inning relievers a weakness, but with Halladay and Cliff Lee on the hill good luck getting to them.

You guys are lucking out by facing Kendrick in Game 1. That's like an automatic 7 runs.

ZWR: According to some of our fans and media, the offense is flawed (the chic word to use is "anemic"). So maybe your pitchers can get us chasing balls near the plate early in the count? I don't know ... I think we rule.

Oh- Ryan Madson's hurt, so maybe you should try to be losing every game heading into the ninth inning. Yeah, go with that!

Thanks again to Bill from Crashburn Alley, Mike from The Fightins and Zoo with Roy for their answers and be sure to check out the perfect combination of statistical analysis, animated gifs and red pandas. 

And be sure to follow them all on Twitter: @CrashburnAlley, @MeechOne and @ZoowithRoy.

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