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And We'll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning: 6/18 Game Thread, Jays at Phillies

So, the Jays have a shot at sweeping the World Series Champion Phillies on the road (where they've really struggled) after getting swept by the Florida Marlins at home, where they've been great. So far this series, the Jays have gotten great starting pitching and have gotten back to their longball hitting ways.

Even more exciting, Brad Mills makes his major-league debut today in place of the injured Casey Janssen. After nearly making the Jays' starting rotation out of spring training, the 24-year old lefty has had an up-and-down season thusfar for Las Vegas. He started slow, put together a very nice string of starts, and then has had a bit of trouble more recently. That said, his overall numbers aren't too bad for the hitter-friendly PCL, though Citizens' Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia is a hitters' haven itself. Mills occasionally has some command issues but generally has a good approach to pitching. With so many lefties in Philadelphia's lineup, it's not a bad matchup for him, but those are good hitters and it's a small ballpark so it should be quite a challenge. Mills is a bit of a flyball pitcher who doesn't really have any one dominant pitch but uses the traditional repertoire effectively and has a bit of a deceptive delivery that might be hard for hitters who haven't seen him before to pick up on. He's originally from Arizona, and got his engineering degree at the University of Arizona.

Joe Blanton starts for the Phillies and he has given the Jays fits before, so let's hope our good hitting from yesterday carries over into this afternoon. Read more about Blanton in the typically fabulous jessef opposing pitchers profile. Cito must really want this win as he is starting Rolen (once again in the cleanup spot) in the day game after a night game, even with Bautista on the bench and the lefty on the mound for the Phillies. Overbay gets the start at first and Chavez starts behind the dish.


Toronto Blue Jays @ Philadelphia Phillies

06/18/09 1:05 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays Philadelphia Phillies
Marco Scutaro - SS Jimmy Rollins - SS
Aaron Hill - 2B Shane Victorino - CF
Vernon Wells - CF Chase Utley - 2B
Scott Rolen - 3B Ryan Howard - 1B
Adam Lind - LF Jayson Werth - LF
Alex Rios - RF Pedro Feliz - 3B
Lyle Overbay - 1B John Mayberry - RF
Raul Chavez - C Carlos Ruiz - C
Brad Mills - P Joe Blanton - P

Today's title comes from the lovely Graham Parsons and the Fallen Angels song. Let's hope the Jays can sweep out the ashes of their Florida series with a sweep of the defending champs!

By the way, the weather today in Philadelphia doesn't look great. My understanding is that the tarp is off the field, which suggests an on-time start, but it could be a long afternoon so we'll have to see how it goes