Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Seriously? That may be the worst name for a stadium of all time. Luckily, no one in Canada gives two shits about baseball. You know damn well that the if Maples Leafs played in a similarly named stadium, Canadians would get as cranked up as Canadians are capable of. In retrospect, this may be the type of shit that made Roy Halladay want to come to Philadelphia. With this in mind, I would like to take a moment to thank the Toronto organization for not being able to surround Halladay with viable help and the entire country of Canada for their general indifference toward the sport of baseball.
Initially, this match-up was supposed to feature both major pieces of the biggest trade of last offseason: Kyle Drabek and Doc Halladay. Regrettably, Drabek was scratched due to a stiff neck and we were treated instead to the epic battle of Halladay versus former Braves space filler Jo-Jo Reyes. Jo-Jo’s real name is Joseph, but he inexplicably is still going by Jo-Jo. Based on today’s performance, Jo-Jo still looks like the Jo-Jo that I remember from Atlanta. He gave up two runs, one hit and two walks in his two innings of work.
The Phillies ran out the reigning Cy Young award winner and miraculously, he looked like the reigning Cy Young award winner. Halladay, who is probably still running stairs somewhere, threw 18 of his 25 pitches for strikes and was generally in control for his two innings of work.
The Phillies capitalized on five, count them, five Blue Jay errors. Apparently, those Canadians are not quite as fancy with out their sticks and if you replace the puck with that white thing with the red stitches it becomes difficult for them to adjust.
Enough making fun of Canada (go screw Joe Carter). Positive notes on the game consisted of Halladay being a bad ass, Polonco and Ruiz ripping two run doubles, J.C. Ramirez striking out four in his two innings of work and the continued inspired play of Ben Francisco who went 1-2 with another RBI. Jimmy Rollins notched his first hit of the spring and former number one overall pick Matt Anderson looked better than his career 5.19 ERA would suggest.
Now on to the negatives. Domonick Brown took another collar, going 0-4 with two strikeouts and a run scored. Brown is still hitless this spring and is striking out an alarming rate. Scott Mathieson was tagged for two hits and two runs in his one inning of relief. He continues to have great arm strength (he purportedly hit 100 MPH on the gun), but gave up two long drives to career minor league players.
The Phillies won the game today 6-3 and Celine Dion is awful.