Happ Happ Happy

The Phillies have a starter for tomorrow night's series opener against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park.

Lefthander J.A. Happ.

Happ is 5-6 with a 3.54 ERA in 17 starts for triple-A Lehigh Valley. In 101 2/3 innings, he has allowed 91 hits and 38 walks. He has struck out 104, which leads the International League.

Happ started for the Phillies on June 30 last season against the Mets at the Bank. He lasted just four innings, and allowed seven hits, five runs, two walks and three home runs. He struck out five. But Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said Happ is a different pitcher than last season.

"I feel good about it," Dubee said. "I was impressed with J.A. this spring. I thought we saw a little bit of a different guy. I thought he carried himself much better. His presence, his poise were much improved. I think a lot of that has to do with some elbow tenderness last year. I think he's over those hurdles and is pretty healthy and feeling pretty good about himself."

Happ faces Mets lefthander Johan Santana.