When the Nationals and Diamondbacks played a four-game series in Phoenix in June, they spent much of the weekend trading beanballs in a spat that culminated with Jason Marquis getting ejected in the Sunday game after hitting Justin Upton for the fourth time in the series.
Since then, Marquis has been traded to the Diamondbacks, and then-manager Jim Riggleman - who was also suspended for the incident - resigned in a dispute over his contract status. But the beanball war continues.
Jordan Zimmermann drilled Upton on the left arm with a 94-mph in the fourth inning, and Upton angrily spiked his bat on his way to first. It was tough to tell if Zimmermann was trying to hit Upton on purpose or just pitch inside - the HBP put runners on first and second with none out, and necessitated a great diving stop from Ryan Zimmerman to prevent a run - but Upton clearly took offense to it.
Then, in the bottom of the fourth, Ian Kennedy returned the favor by drilling Michael Morse on the left arm, where he's been hit several times already this season. Morse wears a protective pad there now, but winced after getting struck by the fastball, and home plate umpire Marvin Hudson issued warnings to both benches.
If Zimmermann or Kennedy hits another batter on purpose the rest of the night, they'll be ejected - and as Marquis, who maintained he didn't hit Upton on purpose in June, can attest, they could get tossed even if a pitch slips.
It's 0-0 in the fifth now, but there's plenty of intrigue between these two teams again.