Told this afternoon in an interview with ESPN980's The Sports Fix's Thom Loverro and Kevin Sheehan that the Washington Nationals' 19-year-old outfielder Bryce Harper had been preparing to face him for three years, watching tape and noting the tendencies of the future Hall of Fame pitcher (as Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore reported this Spring and last night), 35-year-old Phillies' starter Roy Halladay joked with the hosts, "I wish I had three years to watch him." Harper went 2 for 5 with a two-run triple last night, with both hits off the 15-year-veteran starter, and Halladay said he was impressed with what he's seen so far from the Nats' 2010 no.1 overall pick. "I think that says a lot about young players. I think that's such an important part of the game, is being able to watch guys and try and find tendencies and come up with an approach based on that. A lot of times you don't see young players doing that. They go out and really try and let their talent do everything. So I think that says a lot that he's going and looking at the stuff and trying to come up with a plan and an approach. It's not something you see a lot of young players do, so I think that's pretty advanced on his part, and it's something that if he continues to do it is going to be a huge advantage. And to go with the talent, if you can put a game plan in there, it goes a long ways."
Asked if he thought there might be a replay of the Cole Hamels/Harper HBP incident from the first series of the season between the teams in D.C. a few weeks back, Halladay laughed and said, "I doubt it."
"That's all kind of taken care of itself," Halladay said, "It's one of those unfortunate things that I think everybody kind of wishes wouldn't have happened, or would have been handled differently. But it did, and you move on and that's the game, it's a competitive game." The veteran right-hander said some of his teammates in the dugout saw Harper taking a big lead off third before he stole home later inning in which he was intentionally hit, and kind of saw it coming though Hamels didn't. "[Harper] was playing the game the right way," Halladay said, "I don't think it was so much of a 'I got you back,' type of thing as he was playing the game the right way and scored a run for them through effort, and I think that says a lot."
• Listen to the full interview with ESPN980's The Sports Fix's Kevin Sheehan, Thom Loverro and Roy Halladay HERE.