CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies and Pirates have played three Grapefruit League games this spring, and the Phillies have been hit by pitches seven times, while the Pirates have been hit five times.
It made for a relatively interesting few minutes in the Phillies' 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday at Bright House Field. Phillies right-hander Sean O'Sullivan hit Neil Walker with a pitch in the third inning, and Pirates pitcher Adam Wilk hit John Mayberry Jr. in the bottom of the third. Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon then drilled Starling Marte in the middle of the back in the fifth. A couple batters later, Papelbon came high and inside a couple times to Andrew McCutchen.
"No chance," said Papelbon, when asked if those pitches carried any purpose. "Did you see the way I was throwing? I wasn't really hitting my spots, was I? I felt good, and I wanted to throw hard. Of course, I have [my teammates' backs], but it's Spring Training, man."
Said Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure, "I think we've hit four or five of their guys coming inside, trying to keep them off the plate. They've tried the same thing. When you look at that, I don't think there's any purpose behind that at all."
Asked if he is happy with the way his pitchers have stood up for his hitters, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said, "Well, our pitchers will protect our hitters."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.