Phillies

Former teammates remember Roy Halladay

Former teammates remember Roy Halladay

The news of Roy Halladay's death shook the sports world Tuesday. Within moments of the revelation that Halladay was in the plane that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, the love and grief from Halladay's former teammates and peers began to pour out.

Here's the reaction from some of those closest to Doc. This still doesn't feel real.

Chase Utley
"Words cannot describe what it feels like to lose a friend like Roy. He was the ultimate teammate with a passion for being the best. I'm honored to have had the chance to compete with you, Roy. My heart goes out to Brandy and his boys. RIP Doc, but knowing you, rest is not in your vocabulary."

The bromance between Halladay and Utley was one of the most fun aspects of those Phillies teams. Halladay always revered Utley's work ethic, which is saying something because it was Doc's tireless dedication to his craft that made so many players around baseball look up to him.

"On the field I got goose bumps every time!" Halladay tweeted in July 2014 of playing with Utley. "Please encourage your friends, family, most of all your kids to be like chase! #26&chooch!"

Charlie Manuel
"Roy was the best competitor I'd ever seen and it was an honor to have managed him. He was not only a great pitcher, but also a great person and a tremendous father. His contributions to the Phillies can't be measured. Roy was like a brother to me and we remained close after his playing days. I'm heartbroken for Brandy and the boys."

Some of the most memorable Doc-Charlie moments were when Manuel would go out to the mound late in a game to gauge whether Halladay had enough left to get one more out. Every time, Halladay would shrug him off. And it seemed like every time, Halladay would pick up that final out to make his manager look wise.

Ruben Amaro Jr.
"Roy Halladay was most accountable and hardest-working athlete I'd ever been around and while he was the fiercest competitor on the mound, he was also the kindest and most gentle person I've ever known. My heart goes out to Brandy, Braden and Ryan."

Amaro loved Halladay. Landing him in that trade with the Blue Jays prior to the 2010 season was one of his biggest accomplishments as Phillies GM, and it was the result of months of work trying to pry him away from Toronto.

Brad Lidge
"We will all remember Roy for his amazing moments on the field, how he dialed it up in the most important situations, how he competed and left his heart on the field every time he took the ball. But he was also an incredible dad, an incredible husband and an incredible teammate. He was quiet and thoughtful, but knew how to be playful. I competed against Roy since we were in Little League together and I will remember him in that way, and as a man.  It was a privilege to know him and his family, and to have been his teammate. Our hearts go out to Brandy, his kids and his family."

Scott Rolen
"I'm sick right now. Doc was as driven a human being as I'd ever met in my life. I'm hurting for his family and friends. We all lost a good man."

Halladay had the same level of respect for Rolen that he had for Utley. Three men personified by the word "gamer."

Shane Victorino
"You are gone too soon, my friend. I was blessed to have shared the field with you as a teammate, competitor, friend and more importantly, brother. Praying for Brandy and the boys, my Ohana and I will do all we can for them in this tragic time. I love you, bro."

"Ohana" is the Hawaiian word for family.

Raul Ibanez
"I am deeply saddened and absolutely devastated by the tragic loss of Roy Halladay. Doc was the best pitcher I ever had the privilege of sharing the field with as his preparation, consistency, passion, drive and excellence on the field was unmatched. He was a dominant force on the mound every fifth day and he made all of us better without having to say a word. Doc was a tremendous teammate who never sought out the spotlight, rather he let his greatness on the field do the talking for him. He cared about winning and being the best player and teammate possible.  His career accolades speak for themselves but what I most admired about him was his love for his family and his children. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this incredibly difficult time."

• • •

Those were just a few of the heartfelt messages from Halladay's former mates. The rest of the baseball world was hit just as hard. And you didn't even need to know Halladay personally to be devastated.

Phillies take opener in crucial series with NL East rival Braves

Phillies take opener in crucial series with NL East rival Braves

BOX SCORE

If this is the most important series that the Phillies have played since 2011 — the last time they made the playoffs — then this was their most important win since 2011.

Nick Pivetta pitched brilliantly again, Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr both hit home runs and catcher Jorge Alfaro was a defensive standout as the Phillies shut out the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves, 3-0, at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night.

The win improved the Phillies to 27-18 and pulled them within a half game of the Braves in the division. The two teams play again on Tuesday and Wednesday nights as the Phillies, who haven’t had a winning season since 2011, look to move into first place in the division.

OK. OK. OK. It’s still May and there are more than four months remaining in the season. There are many miles to go before this team establishes itself as a legitimate postseason threat or not. Nonetheless, this was a pretty nice win for the Phillies in front of 21,284.

Pivetta pitched seven shutout innings, gave up just four hits and a walk and struck out seven.

He got all the run support he needed in the fourth inning when Williams smacked an opposite-field homer to left. Williams started for the third time in four games in right field in place of Altherr. Altherr entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and crushed a two-run homer to left to make it a 3-0 game.

Seranthony Dominguez pitched a scoreless eighth inning, running his scoreless streak to seven appearances and 7 2/3 innings since debuting in the majors earlier this month.

Manager Gabe Kapler went to Hector Neris in a three-run game in the ninth and Neris picked up the save.

Though first baseman Carlos Santana was charged with his third error in as many games, the Phillies did have some defensive standouts. Third baseman Maikel Franco made a big play in the fourth. Leftfielder Rhys Hoskins made a nice diving catch on a sinking liner by Freddie Freeman to open the sixth. An inning later, in a one-run game, Alfaro gunned down Johan Camargo trying to steal second with a howitzer throw and made a nice play in front of the plate on a swinging bunt to get Dansby Swanson at first.

Alfaro ended the game with another defensive gem, gunning down Ender Inciarte on a dribbling bunt up the third-base line.

Pivetta is on a terrific roll. Featuring a power fastball and sharp slider, he has won three straight starts. He has pitched 19 innings of one-run ball over that span. He has given up 10 hits, walked two and struck out 25. Pretty impressive.

The Phillies had eight hits. Cesar Hernandez walked and singled. He has reached base safely in 25 straight games.

Another injury, more missed time for prospect Roman Quinn

usa_roman_quinn.jpg
USA Today Images

Another injury, more missed time for prospect Roman Quinn

Oft-injured Phillies prospect Roman Quinn is on the shelf again. The team announced Monday night that Quinn had surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn ligament in his right middle finger. Quinn will be out six to eight weeks, the team said.

Quinn, who turned 25 last week, has long been one of the Phillies’ most exciting prospects, mostly for the electricity he generates on the bases and in the outfield. His career, however, has been marked by one injury after another. The team’s second-round draft pick in 2011 has missed time over the years with a torn Achilles tendon, a torn left quadriceps, a concussion and a strained elbow ligament.

Quinn suffered his latest injury diving into a base last week while playing for Triple A Lehigh Valley.

Quinn has been a standout in big-league spring training for the Phillies. The team considered carrying him as an extra man on the opening day roster this season, but sent him back to Triple A to play every day. Quinn spent some time in the majors in September 2016. He had 15 hits in 57 at-bats (.263) and recorded a .373 on-base percentage. In one memorable play, Quinn threw out a runner at home plate from center field. The throw registered 96 mph to the plate on MLB’s Statcast. That’s some serious heat. Now, Quinn is on ice again.