Roy Halladay on track to start Saturday versus Marlins

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Shutting down Roy Halladay because of his shoulder problems remains a possibility for the Phillies, but for now at least he’s scheduled to start Saturday against the Marlins.

Halladay failed to make it out of the second inning Saturday versus the Braves, allowing seven runs and struggling with shoulder muscle spasms, but Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that he had no issues during a 32-pitch bullpen session today.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee called the bullpen session “very encouraging” and repeatedly credited Halladay for being “super accountable” by wanting to pitch rather than calling it a season early. Of course, whether that’s actually a positive thing in the big picture is debatable.

Halladay, who’ll be 36 years old next season, has a 4.40 ERA in 151 innings for his worst mark since 2000, snapping a streak of four consecutive seasons with a sub-3.00 ERA.

Kirk Gibson home run happened 30 years ago

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With the Dodgers trying to make it back to the World Series for the second year in a row — and trying to win it for the first time in 30 years — it’s worth looking back at the last time they won it. More specifically, it’s worth looking back at the signature moment from the last time they won it. Which, really, was one of baseball’s all-time signature moments.

Yep, I’m talking about Kirk Gibson’s famous game-winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, which happened 30 years ago tonight.

All playoff magic for anyone too young to remember Bill Mazeroski’s homer in 1960 is measured against Gibson taking Dennis Eckersley downtown to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 win. Heck, even if you were around in 1960, it’s far less likely that you saw Mazeroski’s homer than it was for you to have seen Gibson’s. Nationally broadcast in prime time to a nation of millions who had not yet fragmented into viewers of hundreds of obscure cable channels and various forms of streaming entertainments, it was a moment that sent shockwaves through the world of sports.

For my part, I was fifteen years-old, sitting in my living room in Beckley, West Virginia watching it as it happened. Like most of the rest of the country, I was convinced that the Dodgers had no chance to beat the mighty Bash Brothers and the 104-win Oakland A’s. Especially given that the Dodgers’ leader, MVP-to-be Gibson, was hobbled and not starting. Even when he was called on to pinch hit, I had no faith that he’d be able to touch Eckersley, the best relief pitcher on the planet, let alone hit the ball with any kind of authority.

But, as Vin said when he called it, the Dodgers’ year was so improbable that, in hindsight, it made perfect sense for Gibson to have done the impossible: