The Philadelphia Phillies have been two completely different teams all in one this season. After a dreaded start to the season, the Phillies rattled off four straight wins, before losing the back half of a quick two game series against the Boston Red Sox. Despite the constant struggle of that bullpen, the Phillies bats have been red hot, leading the league in multiple categories. Next up, the Phillies (9-10) travel to Buffalo to take on the Blue Jays (10-11) for a quick one day series.
Game 1- Thursday- 1:07 PM
Probable Pitchers- Spencer Howard (0-1, 7.88 ERA) at Chase Anderson (0-0, 3.00 ERA)
Rookie Spencer Howard has definitely displayed some shakiness in his first couple of starts. He has left some balls over the plate, where the opposing team hasn’t missed with capitalizing on. He left his last start due to a blister on his finger, but is said to be aye-okay for game one tomorrow. On the flip side, Chase Anderson takes the bump for Toronto. Anderson has made two starts since returning from a strained oblique. In each of these games, he’s only thrown three innings The Blue Jays will need more length from him on Thursday, though, in the first half of a doubleheader to keep the bullpen fresh
Game 2- Thursday, Game time TBD
Probable Pitchers- Vince Velasquez (0-0, 7.88 ERA) at Trent Thornton (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
Vinny Velo is making his third start of the season. After likely losing his spot in the rotation to Spencer Howard, he’ll still see some starts with the number of double headers the Phillies will have. In his first two starts, he has not been able to eclipse four innings, allowing four runs and a lone earned run, respectively. For his career, he’s allowed two runs in five innings pitched against the Blue Jays. On the flip side, Trent Thornton will make his return from right elbow inflammation. In his lone start this season, the righty scattered eight hits over four innings, allowing just one run. This will be his first career appearance against Philadelphia as well.
Phillies to watch
Andrew McCutchen has a great chance to turn his season around in this two game set. He’s made his way onto base in the past five games, and has made it home in his last four. For his career, he’s batting .325 with eight RBI in 11 games against Toronto. This would be a great day for Uncle Larry to continue his streaks and turn his season around.
Bryce Harper is the last name to watch in this “series.” Harper has reached base in all 19 games this seasons, and is amongst the lead leaders in almost all offensive categories. For his career, Bryce has a .361 batting average in nine career games.
Didi Gregorius is one of the only Phillies to have more consistent games played against Toronto. Didi has played in 86 games against the Jays, and has never bat against Thornton or Anderson. He has a modest .246 average, but has been a staple for the Phils’ lineup so far.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire