Roy Halladay threw 55 pitches not behind a hitter's back

(David Maialetti/ Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — It will be lost among the war of words and history between these two teams, but Roy Halladay did more Wednesday than just throw a pitch behind Tyler Moore's back in apparent retaliation for Chase Utley being plunked.

Halladay pitched four scoreless innings in the Phillies' 6-3 win over Washington and allowed two hits with a walk. He fanned two Nationals. Washington brought only one regular, Denard Span, on the long journey to Clearwater. Still, Halladay noted improvement in his 56 pitches (33 were strikes).

"For the most part, felt good," Halladay said. "I felt like there were some improvements over my last outing. I threw some better cutters. I threw some better curveballs. Overall, I feel good and feel like I'm going in the right direction. Just try to continue that."

His first two innings were the model of efficiency. He retired all six batters he faced on a total of 23 pitches. The two hits later were both doubles. One was by Moore, immediately after the pitch sailed behind his back.

Halladay said he was pleased with his stuff. His consistency is another thing.

"We're all kind of going through that time in spring when you're overcoming a little bit of dead arm and your body is tired," Halladay said. "Those first few weeks of spring training catch up to you. I feel good with that in mind."

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