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.
Yesterday it was reported that someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey, which had been hanging in the Alsonso High School dugout in Tampa for a vigil. That was pretty vile stuff indeed.
Thankfully, however, someone’s conscience got the best of them: the jersey has been returned. School officials say that a family found a large envelope outside of the high school with the words “Jose’s jersey” written on it. They took the envelope into to the school this morning and the jersey was found inside.
Bad form taking it, whoever you are, but in most cases it’s never too late to make a better decision and fix your mistakes.
In late August, when everyone started looking at the schedule in an effort to see who had the easiest road ahead of them to the playoffs, the Tigers stood out as particularly blessed. The end of their season featured several games against the lonely Twins and, if things were tight heading into the final weekend, a three-game series against the lowly Braves.
Problem: the Braves have not been very lowly lately, and that could cause the Tigers all kinds of grief.
Atlanta has won 10 of 11 games. They’ve scored 66 runs in those games and their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.28 over that span. Oh, and remember how, earlier in the season, the Braves were hitting like a deadball era team, being outhomered by multiple individual players? Well, they’ve hit ten during this neat little run. Really, though, the run isn’t that little. They’ve won 19 of 30 and have been a solid team, offensively speaking, since late July. They’re hot as heck now and haven’t been pushovers for some time.
So enter the Tigers, who have been seesawing through August and September and who have to play in Atlanta this weekend without their DH, Victor Martinez. Oh, and who stand a halfway decent chance of having to fly out of Atlanta Sunday evening for a makeup game in Detroit that could then cause them to play a tiebreaker game in Toronto or Baltimore which could then have them travel to the other city for a Wild Card game. And that’s if things break decently.
If they break poorly? It’ll be a long, season-closing flight home from Atlanta. A city that was supposed to provide respite for them when it first appeared on the schedule.