WASHINGTON - Though the Phillies did not react on the field last night, they certainly took notice of Nationals reliever Jesus Colome's eighth-inning pitch that hit Chase Utley in the back.

"The catcher set right in behind him," Manuel said. "Yeah, he threw at him. No doubt about it."

The play was likely in retaliation for two pitches by Kyle Kendrick that hit batters, one of which got Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman on the wrist and knocked him out of the game. Utley appeared to glare at Colome as he ran to first base, but that was the extent of the fireworks.

Could there be retaliation in store in the future?

"That's something you don't say a word about," Manuel said.

Utley took the high road after the game.

"It's part of the game. No big deal," he said. "The important thing is, we won."

But his teammates took notice.

"It's a baseball thing, it definitely is," short stop Jimmy Rollins said coyly. "But there's a little more to that baseball thing."

Coincidentally, the pitcher who started the game for the Nationals, lefty John Lannan, was the man who broke Utley's wrist with a pitch last year, sending him to the disabled list. *