Even though there is still a lot of baseball left to play, JA Happ is definitely making a case for Rookie of the Year. Tonight, he took the Phillies through 7 solid innings of 1 run ball. This win gives him a record of 10-2 on the year plus an outstanding ERA of 2.59. Happ is the first rookie of the year to reach 10 wins even after starting his year in the bullpen – amazing. If I could reach through the TV and bear hug him, I totally would. He has made a lot of Phillies fan very, very Happ-Y this year!
Chase Utley added to the happiness in the 6th inning when he finally got the Phillies on the board with a 2-run homer. Until that moment, the offense was shut down by Tim Redding of the Mets in his 5 innings of work; Redding is a very below average pitcher but every time he faces the Phillies, he looks like a Cy Young candidate. Thank goodness Redding is old and can’t get much past 5 innings, because he is a Phillies nightmare.
After the Utley bomb, Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz went back to back with doubles to score one more run. The final RBI came off a sac fly from Carlos Ruiz.
Hoping for a small amount of redemption, Brad Lidge was given yet another save opportunity in the 9th inning. He struck out the first batter he faced to notch his 700th career strikeout, and get off to a good start. The next batter grounded out and the final batter struck out for #701. That’s right Phillies fans – Lidge saved a game and did it without a base runner! Is this a sign of things to come? Let us hope so.
We now go from 2 night games with the Mets in which the Phillies are 1-1, to 2 day games starting tomorrow at 1:10pm. Pedro Martinez will face his old team for the first time and face Oliver Perez of the Mets. After Martinez had a rain shortened outing his last time out, this is going to be a big game for him on a number of levels. Good luck to him!
Happ photo by Jenn