Found March 06, 2013 on
Reading Between The Seams:
So it’s only March, but the NL East division title race may have already began. It’s always trouble in spring training when teams are a little too familiar with each other and face off in an exhibition. Mix in two hard-throwing aces and some other star players being hit by pitches, and you get what happened today.
An inning after Stephen Strasburg plucked Chase Utley (who is actually healthy for spring training for the first time in several years), Roy Halladay had a pitch “slip” (bad grip) and buzz behind Tyler Moore. Message?
Halladay was coy in his postgame interview, but noted (via ESPN.com / AP)
“It slipped,” Halladay said of the alleged retaliatory pitch. “I mean, really, I think that’s not necessarily the case, but we do need to protect our guys to an extent. I’m not saying that’s what happened. I don’t think you want to do it but, you know, it wouldn’t have been the worst thing had it got him after getting one of our good guys.”
Following the pitching fraternity line, Strasburg concurred with Halladay’s grip assessment, claiming he had trouble gripping his off-speed pitches. Note that the pitch he hit Utley with was a heater.
“I don’t have any reason to throw at him, do I?” Strasburg said. “I mean, I don’t understand why they would think I was throwing at him. … It’s spring training. If you’re going to throw at someone or send a message in spring training, go ahead.”
Let’s not forget a memorable moment in 2012 was when Cole Hamels plucked Bryce Harper (by his own admission just to welcome him to the majors) and Harper “retaliated” by stealing home off the veteran (via ESPN Sportscenter):
This will be a fun rivalry to watch in 2013!
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