Roy Halladay says he wasn't trying to hit Tyler Moore, but wouldn't have been upset if he had

Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay. (Clem Murray/Staff Photographer)

Roy Halladay is a professional who knows how to paint the edges on the mound, and he is a professional in the interview room, where he also knows how to paint the edges. Halladay, you may recall, threw a pitch behind the Nationals' Tyler Moore in the top of the fourth inning. The pitch slammed against the backstop as catcher Tommy Joseph and Moore tried to process what had happeend. Coincidentally, Chase Utley had been hit by a Stephen Strasburg pitch in the previous half inning.

So what happened on Halladay's pitch?

"I think we do need to protect our guys to an extent," Halladay said. "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 and I think as a staff we need to do a good job of protecting those guys."

Here comes the best part. . .

"In spring training, I don't think you are necessarily trying to do it," Halladay said, "but it wouldn't have been the worst thing had it got him after hitting one of our good guys."

For his part, Strasburg did not give the impression that he was throwing at Utley.

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

Asked what he thought about Halladay's pitch, Strasburg responded, "I mean, I don’t understand why they would think I was throwing at him. Obviously you could tell the conditions weren’t great. I yanked it in there. It’s spring training. If you’re going to throw at someone or send a message in spring training, go ahead."