Game Chat: The Blue Jays' Jose Bautista Is Not Your Buddy, Friend

Game Chat: The Blue Jays' Jose Bautista Is Not Your Buddy, Friend
June 15, 2012, 12:17 pm
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Two years ago, the Phillies actually ended up with 84 home games thanks to the threat of potentially ugly protest at the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto, an event that coincided with a scheduled interleague series between the Phils and Blue Jays, forcing a move out of Canada.

We bring this up because had it not been for that exercise in semi-civil unrest, this would be the Phils' third trip north of the border in as many seasons.

And as you might remember, the guy pictured below the graphic above caused a bit of a problem for Phils pitchers at the former SkyDome last year.

Be afraid of Jose Bautista
Bautista homered in all three games against the Phillies in 2011 -- going yard off Kyle Kendrick, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, respectively -- and as CSNPhilly's Corey Seidman points out in his evening notes, Bautista's current hot streak and Friday matchup versus Vance Worley both prove worrisome:

Jose Bautista is blazing hot right now, owning a .293/.434/.854 line in
June with seven home runs in 41 at-bats. He’s homered in two straight
games and four of his last six.

Bautista is hitting .301 on
pitches low and outside, where Worley’s two-seam fastball breaks back
over the plate. The battle should be fascinating, as Bautista rarely
swings at pitches outside the strike zone and Worley is reliant on using
the corners. The two have never met

So there's that. Great.

On the mound
The aforementioned Worley enters tonight's ballgame 3-2 in nine starts with a 3.00 ERA and exactly one strikeout per inning. He lasted six innings in his last start in Baltimore, giving up three runs that were later deemed unearned in a 6-4 Phillies loss. As for consistency in a starter, only once has Worley gone fewer than six innings this season (6/4 vs. Los Angeles). In fact, he's gone exactly six in six of his nine outings, which naturally begs the question: How much faith do you have in the bullpen for three innings?

Moving on, Toronto turns to 21-year-old Drew Hutchinson, the owner of 5-3 record, but 4.66 ERA. That said, Hutchinson has been much better at home (3-0, 2.42, 1.154) than on the road (2-3, 6.47, 1.500) this season, a bit of an odd occurrence as Toronto is generally considered hitter-friendly.

Charlie's 6/15 lineup
Placido Polanco has been given the night off; Mike Fontenot will fill in at third. Likewise, Juan Pierre returns in left, moving John Mayberry to the bench.

In order:

1. Rollins, SS
2. Pierre, LF
3. Pence, RF
4. Thome, DH
5. Victorino, CF
6. Ruiz, C
7. Wigginton, 1B
8. Fontenot, 3B
9. Martinez, 2B

In conclusion, Canada stuff

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