Drabek throws no-no; Madson is close

Former Philllies prospect Kyle Drabek tossed a no-hitter in double-A yesterday. (David Swanson / Staff Photographer)

Following up on a few newsy notes on this Fifth of July...

Hey, Kyle Drabek threw a no-hitter. Remember him? Of course you do.

Drabek was the best prospect the Phillies gave up in the Roy Halladay trade. So far, it appears that trade has worked out pretty well for both sides.

Drabek threw 98 pitches in the no-no for double-A New Hampshire and reports had him at 95-97 m.p.h. in the ninth inning. It was his first win since May 31.

He faced 28 batters, walking two, but erased one on a double play. As John Habib wrote in The Union-Leader (N.H.), every out was on a routine play. There were no spectacular defensive plays needed.

"You keep looking at the scoreboard and keep seeing the zeros," Drabek told reporters. "I was as composed in the seventh and eighth innings as I was when I first started the game, but I got a little nervous in the ninth. The crowd was great with their support, but I was freaking out there a little bit."

The Inquirer checked in on Drabek during spring training.

Wanted to clarify something from today's notebook: I erroneously wrote Ryan Madson would pitch on back-to-back days for triple-A Lehigh Valley beginning Sunday. That, obviously, should have been Monday (today).

Madson will pitch Monday and Tuesday for the IronPigs. If all goes well, as the rest of his rehab has so far, then Madson could be back with the Phillies on Wednesday or Thursday.

Lefthander J.A. Happ allowed four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings Sunday for triple-A Lehigh Valley in his final rehab start.

The question now is, what's next?

Happ has options left and the Phillies have publicly discussed sending Happ down for more time to sharpen his stuff. Happ's line wasn't pretty Sunday, but reports have him looking better than his last outing for the IronPigs five days ago. But he still tired as the game went on. Happ was never able to complete six innings in his six rehab starts.

Fifth starter Kyle Kendrick is fresh off a complete-game victory. Joe Blanton, as troubling as Sunday's outing was, appears to have turned a corner in the last three weeks.

So the Phillies have the current luxury of buying some time with Happ, especially with the All-Star break approaching. The guess here is Happ goes to the minors for a few more weeks.

Either way, the Phillies have to make a move Wednesday when Happ's official rehab clock expires.