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

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

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

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid was back in the gym on Wednesday afternoon after enjoying his All-Star break down in New Orleans and appears like he's ready to get back out on the court this weekend.

“I hope that they’re going let me play,” Embiid said after practice on Wednesday. “I feel great. I want to play. If it was my decision, I’d be playing.”

The team doctor's aren't so sure. Joel is currently listed as doubtful for both of the Sixers games this weekend.

But that didn't stop JoJo from talking some smack with one of his favorite teammates, Dario Saric, while battling in a little one-on-one after practice.

Embiid was seen by reporters using some colorful language directed in Saric's direction, screaming "you can't ****-ing guard me!" while the two went at it.

The chatter didn't stop there. Embiid was later asked about the one-on-one and unleashed a little more on Dario.

"He don't like playing me," Embiid said. "He never wins and he doesn't handle me talking trash to him. I would love to play against him all the time because that gives me a lot of confidence beating him every day."

"It's fun playing against him. We both like to compete."

"That's my guy," he added.

And Sixers fans love them both. Let's just hope to see more of them teaming up in actual games soon.

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

CAMDEN, N.J. — Thursday is significant for the Sixers beyond the trade deadline. It is also the day of Ben Simmons' CT scan to evaluate how his right foot is healing.

"I feel like tomorrow at some point we're all going to be able to lay out a more genuine plan for him," Brett Brown said Wednesday. "I feel like we're going to be good to go with some greater news and a more advanced detail of his plans after this scan."

Once all parties involved assess the results, the team will provide an update, which may not be Thursday. Simmons has been sidelined all season after suffering a Jones fracture during the final scrimmage of training camp. 

On Wednesday, he went through his individual workout plan, which included five-on-none scripting with teammates.

"He's still getting a feel for all of us," Nerlens Noel said. "He's learning to throw it up to me, bounce pass to whoever. It's learning certain tendencies that'll make you start to feel more a part of the team."

The Sixers have not placed a timetable on Simmons' return. The first overall pick has not been cleared for full contact five-on-five practice, the next step in his recovery. Prior to the All-Star break, Brown said he expects Simmons will play at some point this season. He stands by that projection with 26 games remaining. 

"I personally would like to see him play this season. I don't backpedal from that," Brown said. "I think my comments are really very much influenced by his reciprocal desire to play this year, which we all respect. Everybody's got clandestine conspiracy theories on why he might not want to play. I know in my heart and speaking to him, he wants to get on a court and play basketball again.

"I hope he can do that, too. If for some reason he can't, we'll deal with it. But I think it would help him to play NBA basketball and get his competitive juices going again if the doctors point us in that direction."

Simmons' teammates are ready to welcome him into the mix when he is given the green light. Their limited glimpses into his talent have them eager for his debut.

"Unlimited potential," Noel said. "I think with Ben, the thing that makes him so special is his IQ for the game, a sixth sense on the court. Him being able to find little things that not very many 6-10 guys can find. I think that's going to propel his game and make him a special player in this league." 

Added Joel Embiid: "I'm excited ... I thought he was our best player in training camp."