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News » Phillies Notes: Phils' Happ aims to show his stuff

Phillies Notes: Phils' Happ aims to show his stuff

Phillies Notes: Phils' Happ aims to show his stuff
J.A. Happ insists he doesn't spend much time thinking about whether or when he will move into the Phillies' starting rotation, but that's not keeping him from making a case for himself.

"I got over that a while ago," the 26-year-old lefthander said before last night's game against Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park. "If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I just have to keep trying to get guys out."

Happ was disappointed when he lost a duel with Chan Ho Park for the fifth spot in the rotation during spring training, but he hasn't let it affect his current role as a middle reliever. He was impressive again in Thursday's 7-5 loss to the New York Mets. When Jamie Moyer was chased in the third inning after giving up seven runs, Happ followed by cooling off the Mets with 32/3 scoreless innings. He gave the Phils a chance to win, which is exactly what he's being asked to do.

Happ has thrown 19 innings in relief, which was tied for first among National League relievers, and has not allowed any of the eight runners he has inherited to score. He's made four consecutive scoreless appearances and hasn't allowed a run since April 26 against Florida.

Happ was a starter throughout his minor-league career. He started four games for the Phillies last season and relieved in his four other appearances.

"It's just a difference in getting ready, a difference in preparation," he said. "You've got to [get ready] quick. You get a lot less time than a starter to get ready. You've got four minutes to get ready, when as a starter, you get four days to get ready. It's an adjustment, but I wouldn't say it's tougher. Luckily, I've been ready when the opportunity comes. I know my job is to eat up some innings."

Park seemed in jeopardy of losing his spot in the rotation until he threw six strong innings against the Mets on Wednesday, allowing only one hit. So for now, Happ has no alternative but to keep doing what he's been doing.

"I like the way he's throwing," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think from a mind-set thing, if you're really tough and you really want to pitch, and you think you're better than people and really determined to get hitters out, then you can get them out. That's what being a professional is all about, too."

Tightening up Manuel said Chase Utley's bruised right foot seems to affect the second baseman when he runs hard.

"His foot kind of gets tight during a game," the manager said. "He'll be real loose and feeling real good, but as he stays on it, it gets sore and tightens up. I haven't really noticed it [his favoring it] a lot, but I do notice it at times when he has to really run hard."

Utley suffered the bruise when he was hit by a pitch from the Mets' Mike Pelfrey eight days ago. He went into last night's game 1 for 10 since the injury.

Romero staying fit Manuel said reliever J.C. Romero should be ready to go when he returns from his 50-game suspension for using a banned substance.

"He's in a conditioning program, and he's throwing. He's been doing fine," Manuel said. "We miss him, yeah, but at the same time I think we've been pretty good as far as him being out. He'll be ready when it's his time to be eligible."

Romero is scheduled to return in early June.

Extra bases The Phillies will make their fourth national television appearance of the week tomorrow with the game against the Braves on TBS. . . . Brett Myers and Moyer are tied for the NL lead for most home runs allowed with 10.

Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 9, 2009

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