Blog: Halladay gets best of Strasburg as Nats fall to Phils

Washington Nationals\' Stephen Strasburg pitches during the second inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Craig Heist, wtop.com

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Roy Halladay out-pitched Stephen Strasburg throwing four scoreless innings as the Phillies beat the Nationals 6-3 at Bright House Field Wednesday.

If these two aces were to face each other during the regular season, it would be called a marquee matchup and while it was just an exhibition game, it wasn’t without controversy.

Strasburg lasted 3 2/3 giving up 2 runs on five hits, walking one while striking out six. He threw 67 pitches, 40 for strikes. Meanwhile, Halladay threw four scoreless innings, walking one while fanning two.

In the third inning following a slow chopping ground ball to third by Michael Young which scored Tommy Joseph, Strasburg hit the next batter, Chase Utley down around the foot.

In the top of the fourth inning, Halladay then threw behind the back of Nationals DH Tyler Moore. Moore eventually doubled down the left field line.

These two teams have a history dating back to last year when the Phillies Cole Hamels drilled Bryce Harper in the back with a 93 mph fastball in a Sunday night, nationally televised game. Harper eventually stole home on Hamels in that inning as the left-hander was making a throw to first base to check the runner.

Later, Hamels admitted to hitting Harper on purpose, kind of a “welcome to the big leagues, kid,” gesture.

While this was not anywhere near that kind of emotion, Nats manager Davey Johnson didn’t think there was much behind any of what had happened.

“Nothing. I ask Moore because I didn’t think anything, and I knew Strasburg didn’t hit nobody on purpose. I ask Moore, is there a history there? He said,


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