Joseph went 3-for-4 with a double in the Phillies' 6-3 win Wednesday over the Washington Nationals. Two of his hits came off of Washington ace Stephen Strasburg.
But he made an even bigger impression in meshing with Halladay for four shutout innings, which included saddling up with the two-time Cy Young Award winner in the dugout between innings.
"He wanted to talk a lot in between innings, which really isn't my thing," Halladay said, "but I didn't mind it, because he was just trying to get a feel for what I wanted to do and things like that. I thought he did a great job."
Said Joseph: "I was kind of scared at first. I was, like, 'I don't know if he wants to talk to me.' But as the innings went on, I felt comfortable with him and when I started calling pitches and he started throwing what I wanted, I thought, 'All right, this guy knows what he wants to do and we're on the same page.' "
In addition to getting in tune with Halladay, Joseph helped out his pitcher by turning a leadoff walk in the third inning into an out by throwing out Carlos Rivero in a stolen-base attempt. He also made two tough catches on foul balls behind the plate on a windy afternoon at Bright House Field.
Joseph, arguably the top position player prospect in the Phillies' farm system, is also hitting this spring. He's batting .462 (6-for-13) with a home run and two doubles in six games.
After spending 2012 at Double A, Joseph is likely a year away from the big leagues, but he has certainly made an impression in the first 3 weeks of camp, highlighted by his play on Wednesday.
"You know what? That takes some stones," pitching coach Rich Dubee said of Joseph's decision to chat up Halladay between innings. "That's what you're looking for out of a catcher, some leadership. That's pretty good right there. You have a two-time Cy Young winner with almost 200 wins and you feel confident enough that you can go up and talk to him. That's perfect."
Phillies vs. Nationals
Lost in the second chapter of the Phillies-Nationals Beanball War, with Halladay-Strasburg acting as the sequel to last May's Hamels-Harper drama, was the guy who got plunked by Stephen Strasburg in the third inning of Wednesday's game.
It was Chase Utley, hit in the left shin, and the second baseman was OK. He played five innings, coming out of the game with fellow starters Ryan Howard and Michael Young before the start of the sixth.
"No one wants anybody to get hurt, and getting hit by pitches are part of the game," Utley said. "If need be, if someone ever needs to be brushed back, I feel like we have the guys capable of doing that."
Roy Halladay was up to the task, throwing a ball behind Nationals designated hitter Tyler Moore an inning later. Upon video review, Halladay was seen saying something to Utley just before taking the mound and throwing the errant pitch to Moore.
Strasburg, for his part, said he had no reason to throw at Utley. And if the Phillies were sending a message in their retaliatory response, so be it.
"It's up to them," Strasburg said. "I don't understand why they would think I was throwing at him. Obviously, you could tell the [windy] 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."
Other than his second wild pitch in as many starts, Halladay was superb: He threw four shutout innings, allowing two hits, while striking out two and walking one.
Reliever B.J. Rosenberg (triceps soreness) said he'll throw a bullpen session on Thursday and get back into a Grapefruit League game on Saturday. Rosenberg was scratched on Sunday and hasn't pitched in a game since Feb. 27 . . . Freddy Galvis played the final three innings of Wednesday's game at third base. It was the first time Galvis had ever played the position. Manager Charlie Manuel said the slick-fielding infielder would continue to get more reps at the position in the next 3 weeks . . . Chad Durbin allowed three runs on four hits, including a home run, in the sixth inning. Durbin had thrown two shutout innings in his first two appearances of the spring . . . Three pitchers competing for bullpen jobs showed off their stuff Wednesday: Jake Diekman, Mike Stutes and Justin De Fratus all threw scoreless innings of relief. Diekman struck out two of the four batters he faced and didn't walk a batter. He has nine strikeouts and two walks in four appearances this spring.
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