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J.A. RULE! Why J.A. Happ NEEDS to stay in the Phillies Rotation


Last night the Phillies needed J.A. Happ to be the stopper for this club. He did much more than that: putting his cleat on the Rockies collective throat, and not lifting it until he struck out 10 batters for a 4 hit complete game shutout. To put into context what Happ has done this year, I will use one stat. 6 players in MLB have two shutouts: Josh Beckett, Joel Pineiro, Zack Greinke, Jeff Niemann, Tim Linecum and now Happ.

To show just how dominant Happ was, eight of his ten strikeouts were from his fastball. He doesn't have as much natural talent as some of the other pitchers in this rotation, but I don't think any compete harder then him. The whole team bounced back in this game, started to work counts and look for pitches to drive. The results speak for itself: seven runs scored with eleven hits. Happ also got in on the action and ripped a ball to dead center that bounced just a couple feet high of a home run. Happ rolled into second base sending the sell-out crowd into a frenzy. The fans gave Happ a huge ovation after the end of that inning and then pumped him up to help get him through the last inning.

Happ didn't need much help from the fans as he proceeded to strike out two in the inning and all night kept the Rockies batters off balance and looking foolish. With news of what Pedro Martinez was doing in his rehab assignment swirling in the stadium and watching what Happ was doing, the question SHOULD be who gets the 5th spot in the rotation? Jamie Moyer or Martinez? Happ has clearly earned his spot in the rotation. I don't care that Moyer has 10 wins. His ERA is terrible and he is either feast or famine lately. Moving Moyer to the pen could push a bullpen held together at this point with duct tape and grit over the edge.



Special thanks to Ryan Downs