Roy Halladay really loves Chase Utley

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I am fascinated by Roy Halladay’s Twitter account. There’s nothing spectacular about it really — he’s a retired dude who likes to fish and play golf and stuff — but because I can’t think of any ballplayer’s whose on-field and off-field personas are more different.

On the field Halladay was like the Terminator. He was always business, always serious. While his arm may have given out, you feel like he could still go 12-8 each year based on his intensity alone. It carried over into interviews too. He was never mean, but there was not a lot of emotion there. It was business and logic and zero nonsense.His Twitter feed, in contrast, shows him to be rather funny. Occasionally goofy in a good way. He dabbles in observational comedy and stuff. It’s kind of neat.

Today, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association gave out its team-by-team Heart & Hustle Awards. They’re voted on by alumni and active Major League players and is presented annually to active players who “demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.” Chase Utley won it for Philly, and Halladay went with the heart, going on a multi-tweet endorsement of Utley as a professional and a human being.

I began to read it with some amusement but then I started to kind of love it, mostly because it was a mix of Mac’s letter to Chase on “Always Sunny” and the “I love you, man!” stage of a bender, only done stone-cold sober at 2pm on a Tuesday.

Ignore the typos and there/their/our/are level of word mixups. The man was on a roll here and likely typing on his phone:

Corny? I dunno. But that’s some heartfelt stuff right there. From a guy who, as a player at least, gave you the impression he could rip out your heart in a second if he wanted to. Maybe I’m being a softie this afternoon, but I sort of love it.

Video: Justin Verlander reaches career mark with 270th strikeout

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Justin Verlander is approaching the tail end of a fantastic year with the Astros — arguably one of his best in the last decade — and on Saturday, he kicked off his last regular season start at Minute Maid Park with a strikeout, his 270th of the year. While that’s still a few shy of Max Scherzer‘s league-best mark of 290, it was a new personal record for Verlander, who had yet to beat the previous career record he set with 269 strikeouts in 2009.

Verlander’s moment arrived at the top of the first inning on a seven-pitch called strikeout against the Angels’ Kole Calhoun. Cole worked a 2-2 count, then fouled off a pair of 95-MPH fastballs before missing the seventh and final pitch at the top of the strike zone.

Jose Fernandez battled twice as long in the next at-bat, albeit with far more disastrous results. His 14-pitch duel against the Astros’ righty ended when he caught a fastball on his hand and was forced to come out of the game.

After expending a total of 27 pitches in the first inning, however, Verlander returned in the second to strike out the side, then logged another pair of strikeouts in the third. With six strikeouts through three innings, he boosted his season strikeout total to 275 — just a hair above fellow Houston righty Gerrit Cole (and all other AL pitchers), who previously led the team with 272 whiffs on the year.