Hinske happy for old pal Halladay

Hinske happy for old pal Halladay

ATLANTA -- When Kevin Millwood threw a no-hitter for the Phillies on April 27, 2003, Marcus Giles stood on a picnic table inside the Braves' clubhouse and celebrated the historical achievement created by the right-hander who had pitched for Atlanta each of the previous six seasons.

Given that the Braves were in the midst of their own game on Saturday night, Eric Hinske certainly didn't react in the same manner when he learned that his former Blue Jays teammate, Roy Halladay, had completed the 20th perfect game in Major League history for the Phillies.

With Halladay now pitching for the division-rival Philliies, who entered Sunday just 1 1/2 games in front of Atlanta in the National League East, Hinske was still able to feel good about the fact that his friend had enjoyed such a rare accomplishment.

"I'm happy for him," Hinske said. "He's a great professional. He does his job better than anybody else. He's real serious about it."

Hinske wasn't very surprised that it took Halladay 298 career starts to throw his first no-hitter. The Braves' versatile utility player was playing third base for the Blue Jays on Sept. 6, 2003, when the dominant right-hander kept the Tigers hitless over 7 2/3 innings and ended up throwing 10 scoreless innings.

"He pitches to contact too much," Hinske said. "It's hard for him to throw a no-hitter, because he's trying to get them to put the ball in play."

The Braves will not have to face Halladay during this week's three-game series against the Phillies.

-- Mark Bowman