Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happ-y Days here again for Phils

Happ-y days are indeed here again – for both the Phillies and their fans.

And also for their new starter. That would be one J.A. Happ. All he did last night was take struggling Kyle Kendrick’s spot in the rotation, take the hill against the Atlanta Braves and unfurl six scoreless innings. Happ gave up just three hits and walked one in recording his first major league win.

It didn’t hurt that the red-hot Phils lineup staked him to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first before he even took the mound. Along the way Ryan Howard knocked in another run, that’s 137 for the year if you’re counting.

It was Happ’s fourth major league start. But his last start was with the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Let’s get all the positives out of the way first. The win keeps the Phils in first place, a half game ahead of the Mets. Both the Mets and Brewers won last night.

Now, since this Philly after all, a couple of questions. Where the hell has Happ been? Does anyone else think maybe Kendrick started two more games as he seemed to lose confidence every time he took the mound, especially the game where he managed to record only four outs before being lifted in the second?

Wouldn’t Happ, who did nothing but offer solid pitching in his short stint and two starts with the Phils, have been a viable alternative? We’ll never know. What we do know is that the Phils likely are going to need a fifth reliever one more time this season, on Monday against the Braves back at Citizens Bank Park. Anyone think that starter should not be Happ? One thing we know. He’s well-rested. Maybe too well-rested.

Cut the music for the ballpark.

“Monday, Tuesday, Happ-y Days” ….

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