Roy Halladay was victorious in his return to Toronto this afternoon, tossing a complete game (what else?) as part of a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays.
Halladay threw 110 pitches en route to his major-league leading sixth complete game of the season. He scattered eight hits while striking out eight and walking just one. The Phillies’ ace is now tied Jair Jurrjens for the National League-lead with 11 wins and has taken over the major-league lead with 131 strikeouts over 136 1/3 innings.
The Phillies actually trailed in this game entering the top of the seventh inning, but Chase Utley put them in front with a two-run homer off left-hander Luis Perez. Halladay was given an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning on an RBI single by Shane Victorino.
Halladay had to endure a long wait before pitching in the bottom of the ninth because reliever Jon Rauch got into it with home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez following Victorino’s single. The 6-foot-10 right-hander had to be restrained by a few members of the Jays’ staff, including his manager John Farrell, who actually ripped his jersey off. Watch in glorious GIF form here. Farrell was eventually tossed himself for continuing the argument over the strike zone.
Jose Bautista hit a long solo home run to center field off Halladay in the fourth inning in a losing cause. He now has the MLB-lead with 26 home runs.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.