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You can’t deny me, you always want to try me: Phillies vs. Blue Jays series preview

The Phillies have had a lot of trouble with the Blue Jays in recent years

Toronto Blue Jays v Philadelphia Phillies
Vlad Guerrero running the bases against the Phillies is a familiar sight
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Thanks to their salvaging of a win in the finale of the Red Sox series and Monday’s off day, the Phillies haven’t lost a game in three days. Let’s see if they can keep that very modest level of momentum going against a team that they haven’t fared well against in recent years.

Toronto Blue Jays

Record: 21-14, Third place in American League East (7.5 games back)

The manager

In 2022, the Blue Jays were struggling at midseason, and fired their manager. They elevated a coach - John Schneider, to be specific - to interim manager, and the team responded with improved play, and made it to the playoffs as a Wild Card. Impressed by the team’s improvement under Schneider, the Jays hired him full-time.

Seems kind of unoriginal if you ask me.

The last time they met

The teams faced off in a pair of two-game series in 2022. The Blue Jays won the first two in Toronto and appeared well on their way to winning the second two as well, before the Phillies pulled off an improbable comeback in the final game.

The Phillies won’t have Vierling around to bail them out, but hopefully that win will spark a turnaround in this series. Because when the Phillies play the Jays, not much usually goes their way.

What’s the deal with the Blue Jays?

Despite a solid record, they’re in just third place in the buzzsaw that is the American League East. The offense is led by Matt Chapman who is currently leading the AL in batting average after a couple of down offensive seasons.

Like father, like son

Vlad Guerrero, Sr. spent most of his career tormenting Phillies pitching. I’ll offer a mild defense of the Phillies, by pointing out that he tormented most pitching staffs. But it’s only a mild defense, because the man had a career OPS of 1.204 against them, with 31 home runs in 91 games.

His son hasn’t quite reached that lofty standard, but he hasn’t been a slouch either. In 13 games against the Phillies, he has five home runs and a .977 OPS, and is a major reason why the Blue Jays have been so successful against the Phillies. Let’s just be thankful that unlike his father, he likely won’t spend most of his career in the NL East.

Boo this man

George Springer is off to a poor start in 2023. Perhaps he should ask someone to bang a trash can for him.

Smarty’s tournament of randomness

The top-seeded “ooh-wah-ah-ah-ah” sound from Down with the Sickness easily took out Daniel Jones, and advanced to the next round.

On to our next matchup:

#7 Folgers’ “Coming Home for Christmas” commercial

If you know, you know.

It feels like they re-shot this so that the girl explicitly establishes herself as the sister at the beginning, although that probably makes it worse.

#10 Fran Dunphy

He’s a Big Five institution, having spent time at Penn, Temple, and now LaSalle. If you want a coach that can lead your team to a first-round exit in the NCAA tournament, Dunphy is your man.


Who should advance: Folgers commercial or Fran Dunphy

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    #7 - Folgers commercial
    (40 votes)
  • 27%
    #10 - Fran Dunphy
    (15 votes)
55 votes total Vote Now


Last series’ answer: Chase Utley had a two-home run game at Dodger Stadium on June 29, 2013. Nobody got the right answer.

This series question: Matt Vierling beat the Blue Jays last year thanks to a five-hit game. Before that, who was the last Phillies to record a five-hit game against the Blue Jays?

Non-Phillies thought

Is it too much to ask that Tobias Harris actually shows up and plays well in a second-round playoff series?

Closing thought

The Phillies had struggled for years against the Angels before finally turning the tables and sweeping them last year. Maybe we can get a similar turnaround against the Jays this season?

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