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.

Albert Pujols is eighth on the all-time home run list

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Albert Pujols kicked things off for the Angels in dramatic fashion on Friday night, cranking a two-RBI home run off of the Orioles’ Jeremy Hellickson to give the club an early lead in the first inning. The 350-footer was his 18th home run of the year and No. 609 in his 17-season career, tying Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list for eighth overall and most home runs hit by a player born outside of the United States.

With the home run, Pujols sits just three homers shy of tying Jim Thome’s 612-home run record for seventh on the all-time list. That figures to be the last major milestone still ahead of the designated hitter this season, with Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630-home run mark still a distant 21 blasts away.

The Angels, meanwhile, ran with Pujols’ lead, collecting home runs from Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Kaleb Cowart and Mike Trout. It wasn’t quite enough to quash the Orioles, however, who surged to a 9-7 finale after Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with three home runs and struck a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.

Nationals place Max Scherzer on 10-day disabled list with neck inflammation

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The Nationals placed right-hander Max Scherzer on the 10-day disabled list with left neck inflammation, the team announced Friday. Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start against the Padres and replaced by left-hander Matt Grace, though an official roster move has yet to be made to fill his spot on the roster. The assignment is retroactive to August 15.

Scherzer experienced a similar pain on the right side of his neck at the start of the month, though this is the first official stint he’ll serve on the disabled list in 2017. While comments from club manager Dusty Baker suggest that the injury wasn’t caused by any particular trauma, it seems likely that the ace right-hander will be sidelined for at least one more start.

It’s a terrible time to lose a star pitcher, especially with the Nationals positioned to make a deep run in the postseason, but their 14-game cushion in the NL East should buy them some time while Scherzer’s on the mend. Prior to his bout of inflammation, the 33-year-old looked remarkably healthy this season. He pitched through his fifth consecutive All-Star campaign and currently boasts a 12-5 record in 24 starts, complete with a 2.25 ERA (good for second-best among qualified starters), 2.2 BB/9 and 12.3 SO/9 in 160 1/3 innings.