Halladay handcuffs the Cardinals

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Halladay on the mound.jpgRoy Halladay is now 6-1 after stifling the Cardinals over seven innings in the Phillies 7-2 win. He worked out of early trouble and struck out nine while scattering — yes, scattering! — eight hits.

Best moment of the game. Seventh inning, Roy Halladay already has thrown 117 pitches and has just given up an RBI single to Pujols.  Charlie Manuel comes out to the mound to take the ball.  Except he doesn’t. We’ll learn later what Halladay actually said, but he effectively told Manuel that he wasn’t leaving the game.  Matt Holliday grounds out on the very next pitch and Halladay leaves the field to the roar of the crowd. Robin Roberts tribute anyone?

By the way, the above photo was taken this afternoon by Matt Slocum of the Associated Press.  It’s one of my favorite game shots of the year so far. It pretty much captures the “I’m gonna handle this myself” essence of Halladay.

Nationals acquire Kelvin Herrera from Royals

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Update (8:06 PM ET): The Royals will receive minor leaguers Blake Perkins, Kelvin Gutiérrez, and Yohanse Morel from the Nationals, per Heyman. The trade is official as the Nationals and Royals have announced the deal.

Perkins, 21, is the Nationals’ No. 11 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. The outfielder was selected by the Nationals in the second round of the 2015 draft. This season, with High-A Potomac, Perkins hit .234/.344/.290 in 305 plate appearances.

Gutiérrez, 23, is rated by MLB Pipeline as the Nats’ No. 10 prospect. The club signed him as an international free agent in April 2013. With Double-A Harrisburg this season, the third baseman hit .274/.321/.391 in 249 trips to the plate.

Morel, 17, is not in the Nats’ Top-30 as the club signed him last July as an international free agent. In one start in the Dominican Summer League, Morel allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts across 3 1/3 innings.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Nationals are close to acquiring reliever Kelvin Herrera from the Royals. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post says three minor leaguers are going from the Nats to the Royals.

Herrera, 28, has been outstanding for the last-place Royals. He owns a 1.05 ERA with 14 saves and a 22/2 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. Herrera is a free agent after the season, so this is effectively a rental for the Nationals, who are three games behind the Braves for first place in the NL East.

Herrera will help bolster the Nats’ bullpen behind closer Sean Doolittle, who has 17 saves and a 1.52 ERA. It’s not known yet how the Nationals will handle the closer’s role with Herrera in the mix. One would imagine Herrera slides into the set-up role behind Doolittle.