Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happ returns to help suddenly hot Phillies

That's called a winning streak, folks. On the heels of Roy Halladay shutting the Rockies down in a 6-0 win on Friday, Kyle Kendrick had a strong outing of his own on Saturday to help the Phillies win big yet again, 10-2. While the big story of both games might be the re-emergence of the offense (coincidentally getting hot after the team switched hitting coaches), the Phillies also got two very solid pitching performances, one expected and the other a nice surprise. Whether the couple of days in the minors made a difference or not, Kendrick certainly looked like a much better pitcher than he did earlier in the week when he was shelled by the Cardinals.

Looking to follow up with a strong outing of his own will be J.A. Happ, who will be making his first start for the Phillies since April 15th. As you may recall, Happ made a pair of starts back in April, gave up zero earned runs in 10+ innings, then suffered a strained forearm and missed three months. While the Phillies will continue to search for a starting pitcher to add to the rotation, putting Happ back into the mix at least gives the team someone they can trust. While Happ has had his issues with allowing too many runners on base, he did put up some great numbers in 2009 (12-4 record, 1.23 WHIP, 2.93 ERA) and a performance anywhere close to that will be a big boost for the Phils.

With Happ's return, the Phillies have dropped Vance Worley, who was originally called up when Kyle Kendrick was sent down, back to the minors. Worley made his major league debut on Saturday and had a perfect inning and struck out 2 hitters. While he made a leap from Double A to the majors, the hard-throwing Worley could be someone to keep an eye on as a possible Phillies bullpen piece in the coming months or for next year.

1 comment:

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