The Phillies downed the rival Nats today by a score of 6-3. It was nice to see the club rebound from a horrid game against the Dominican Republic WBC team just a day ago, in particular the continued progress of Roy Halladay back to his old self.
Dominic Brown added to his hit total, and Josh Fields kept the teams power surge going. I’m sure most fans who actually watched the game tuned out after the seventh, but the highlight of the day came in the top of the fourth.
This scene must be prefaced with a little context. In the bottom of the third Chase Utley did what he’s best at, getting hit by a pitch. He took a Stephen Strasburg bee-bee off the shin, but there didn’t appear to much malice behind the pitch. After all, it’s a spring training game and Utley has a tendency to get in the way of pitches.
The Phillies plated two runs in the inning, and the HBP seemed to be forgotten by all except for one man, Roy Halladay.
Doc does not have the gas in the tank that young Strasburg does, but he’s an old school type of pitcher. He felt Strasburg’s transgression, whether intentional or not, needed to be answered for. Unfortunately for Tyler Moore it was his turn at the plate. Halladay’s pitch went a mile behind Moore’s back, somewhat reminiscent of a “Nuke” Laloosh wild pitch, but with a purpose. If one were to translate Halladay’s pitch it might read,
“I don’t care who the f&!k you are, no one throws at my guys!” – Writer interpretation of Roy Halladay’s thoughts
It may be a whole lot to do about nothing since it’s only March 6th, but these two clubs will be seeing a lot of each other during the season.
Strasburg might not be so innocent as he seems either. After last years hit batter incident between Cole Hamels and Bryce Harper, the bad blood between these two clubs is at a boil. Add the fact that the Nationals dethroned the Phillies as division champs, and this has all the makings of an all out war every time these two clubs meet.
If the Phillies and Nats find themselves neck-a-neck for the NL East late in the season, they won’t let petty feuds like these get in the way of winning. More likely this little back and forth will stay on the field in Clearwater. That is until the next guy gets hit.