Halladay rumors fly but a trade seems unlikely

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The Rangers are excited about the possibility of Roy Halladay coming to Texas:

Blue Jays right-handed ace Roy Halladay was the No. 1 topic of
discussion in the Rangers clubhouse before Wednesday’s game with the
Angels . . . “I’d love to have him here,” outfielder Marlon Byrd said.
“I don’t know what price it would take to get him, but I’d love to have
him.” “You always want people who you feel could help the ballclub,”
outfielder Josh Hamilton added. “It’s not my decision to make, so I
don’t know. But I want whatever would help this ballclub win games and
get to the postseason. I’ll leave that decision up to the front
office.” “We’re going to look to improve the club every way we can,”
[GM Jon] Daniels said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

There’s also excitement in Philadelphia, St. Louis and a bunch of other places.

As I said the other day,
I don’t see Texas, given their owners’ financial difficulties, being
able to pay the $22M+ Halladay is owed this year and next, and that’s
even if Halladay were willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to the
ballpark where pitching goes to die. As for Philly and St. Louis, I
still don’t think they have the chips, and I still question whether
Halladay will even be traded. Everyone is keying so much on J.P.
Ricciardi’s comments about shopping him a couple of days ago, but not
too many people noticed when he said this yesterday:

Riccardi isn’t optimistic a trade will happen.

“My gut feeling is no, we won’t, because there aren’t too many teams
out there who are willing to give us the significant package of
prospects we would need to make this go,” Riccardi told the Globe.
“Teams protect their prospects.”

Posturing? Maybe. But I still kind of doubt it, and while everyone goes
crazy trying to figure out where Halladay is going, I’m going to stand
by my original statement: He ain’t goin’ anywhere.

Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.

The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.

For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.