Roy Halladay was just following orders.

Earlier this spring, Halladay told reporters that Chase Utley suggested he "drill a few guys" this year. So, today, Doc let his scalpel slip.

Utley got drilled in the left ankle by a Stephen Strasburg fastball in the third inning. There were two men on at the time and wayward pitch didn’t appear to be intentional, but that didn’t stop Halladay from retaliating an inning later.

With two outs and none on in the top of the fourth, Halladay’s first pitch to Tyler Moore sailed to the backstop. It slippedAt least that’s what Halladay told reporters after the game:

“Yeah, that one slipped a little bit,” said Halladay, easing out a slight smile. “It slipped. That’s not necessarily the case, but I think we do need to protect our guys to an extent. I’m not saying that’s what happened. It slipped, but I think that’s important. We’ve had a lot of guys hit over the years. I think as a staff we need to do a good job of protecting those guys. Spring Training, I don’t think you’re necessarily trying to do it. But it wouldn’t have been the worst thing had it got him after getting one of our good guys.”


And when asked if he was intentionally trying to hit Utley, Strasburg said:

"I don't have any reason to throw at him, do I?" Strasburg said.

"I mean, I don't understand why they'd think I was throwing at them. Obviously you can tell the conditions weren't great and I yanked it in there. It's spring training. If you're going to throw at somebody or give a message in spring training, go ahead."


Message received, it would seem.