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.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.
Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.
That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.
Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.