It's Only March 6th and the Phillies and Nationals Are Already Throwing at Each Other

It's Only March 6th and the Phillies and Nationals Are Already Throwing at Each Other

The Phillies dominated the Nationals for a good five-straight seasons prior to the young Washington club showing a little something in 2012. The role reversal was accompanied by plenty of trash talk and a nice little rivalry was born. Jayson Werth going from one side to the other certainly helped. As did the emergence of that cocky kid who is pretty damn good at baseball.

But the Phillies aren't just going to roll over and allow the Nationals to walk all over them in 2013.

Enter a a seemingly meaningless spring training game this afternoon between the two clubs with superstar youngster Stephen Strasburg throwing for the Nats and Roy "This Dude's a Legend" Halladay for the Phils.

As you may or may not be aware, Chase Utley was named the second meanest player in all of baseball according to an SI player poll. So when a guy with great stuff like Strasburg loses a fastball in and drills Utley, it makes you wonder.

Following the game, Strasburg told reporters he had no reason to plunk Utley, but reason or not, Roy Halladay will not let this aggression stand, man.

Halladay threw a ball way behind a guy named Tyler Moore later in the game to show that you can't just go hitting Chase Utley and not pay for it. Or at least shake in the batter's box a bit for it.

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And how fitting. It was Utley who famously told Halladay before the season to drill a couple more guys (video). Halladay said a few weeks back he may have to do just that.

Of course Roy said the ball just got away from him, but then he apparently smiled, according to Matt Gelb who was on the scene to tweet about Roy's facial expressions.

I'm all for it. Halladay is the wily vet who knows when it's okay to waste a base and when it's not. And the Washington Nationals? Nobody likes them. Let's step this rivalry up a few notches this season.

Oh, and Halladay looked like a boss on the hill all day: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 shot fired.*

*Matt Gelb's line

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Crosby, who scored on a power play, missed the team's first six games with a concussion. Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Penguins, who extended a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who has started the first seven games of the season for Pittsburgh, stopped 20 shots. Matt Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June, served as the backup to Fleury after missing the first six games with a broken hand.

Reilly Smith scored a power-play goal and Mark Pysyk also scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 12 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

James Reimer made 19 saves in his second start of the season (see full recap).

Kings top Blue Jackets in overtime
LOS ANGELES -- Alec Martinez scored 1:14 into overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Drew Doughty scored the tying goal with 5:57 left in regulation for the Kings, who won their third straight overtime game after an 0-3-0 start to the season. Captain Anze Kopitar also scored, and third-string goalie Peter Budaj stopped 19 shots in his third consecutive win.

Cam Atkinson scored a tiebreaking power-play goal late in the second period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for Columbus. Brandon Saad also scored for the Jackets, who had won two straight after an 0-2-0 start.

Martinez ended it by putting a rebound into an open net for the defenseman's second goal of the season (see full recap).

Lightning strike for seven goals in win
TORONTO -- Steven Stamkos matched a career-high with four points -- two goals and two assists -- and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Frederik Andersen gave up seven goals on only 24 shots, the third time in five starts he has allowed at least five goals and fourth time he's allowed four or more. The 27-year-old has an .851 save percentage so far this season.

Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin added goals for Tampa Bay, while Ben Bishop made 40 saves.

William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, who outshot the Lightning 43-24 (see full recap).

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles could be looking for a bigger name outside.

In need of a deep threat — and reportedly in talks about a trade for 49ers wideout Torrey Smith — the Eagles are interested in Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and attempting to make a move for the 2013 Pro Bowler, according to a report Tuesday night by Benjamin Allbright of Mile High Sports Radio.

We followed up with Allbright, who clarified the Eagles simply made an inquiry.

Jeffery, much more of a do-it-all, dynamic wide receiver than the one-dimensional Smith, is 26 years old and can become a free agent at season's end. He'll warrant good money, but would make the Eagles better in more ways than one compared to Smith.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder put up 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, followed by 85 catches, 1,133 yards receiving and 10 scores in 2014.

This season, he has 520 yards receiving and has yet to find the end zone playing for the quarterback-challenged Bears, who are 1-6 and more than likely thinking about next season.