The Phillies don't need Roy Halladay

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I promise that this is my last Roy Halladay post of the day. Unless I’m inspired to write another, anyway. Anyway:

Peter Gammons: “Phillies must make trade for Halladay

This would be the same Phillies team that is now 6.5 games up? I mean
sure, he’d be nice to have around, but do you really mortgage the
future for a marginal improvement in a race you already stand an
excellent chance of winning easily? Gammons says in the article that
“One player does make a huge difference,” with the implication that in
the postseason, having that ace could mean the difference between a
championship or going home empty handed. History, however, doesn’t bear
that out.

The Brewers may have made the postseason because of CC Sabathia, but
he didn’t get them anywhere in the playoffs. Same with the Cubs and
Rich Harden. Go back further and the story repeats itself with the 1987
Detroit Tigers and Doyle Alexander. Same goes for just about every team
to trade for an arm at the deadline in recent history, because in the past 30 years,
the only starting pitcher acquired midseason to win a World Series game
was St. Louis’ Jeff Weaver in 2006, and he was a salary dump. [CORRECTION:
I forgot Joe Blanton last year, but I don’t know that that changes
anything]. Weigh all that against the guys who were traded away for
those putative final pieces of the puzzle: John Smoltz, Jeff Bagwell,
Derek Lowe, Jason Varitek. The list goes on and on.

Sure, Halladay is a special talent. And yes, maybe it’s a different
calculus if the Phillies and Mets were locked in an epic battle for
first place. But they’re not. The Phillies, in all probability, are not
going to have any trouble making the playoffs. Once they get there,
fate will play a greater role in determining whether they repeat as
champions than any one player’s fastball.

It would be nice to have Roy Halladay. If the Jays decide to sell
him at a bargan price you certainly make the deal. They are not,
however, in a “must” situation with this, and to the extent Gammons or
anyone else argues that they are, they’re mistaken.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.