Game 145: Hello, Happ

Ben Francisco (left) gets a rare start and Jimmy Rollins makes his second straight appearance at the top of the lineup. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

HOUSTON -- J.A. Happ has endured a miserable season. He's fallen a long way since 2009, when he burst onto the scene as a rookie in the Phillies' rotation. (Sound familiar?)

We wrote briefly about Happ for Tuesday's Inquirer. He wants to forget about this season, and he sees Wednesday as an opportunity to feel good about at least one night. Brett Myers called his Monday victory of the Phillies "his playoffs" and Happ likely has a similar view.

He'll face a Phillies lineup without Shane Victorino, who is in the midst of his worst slump this season. Victorino is 10 for his last 53 (.189) since Sept. 1. He was 0 for 4 against Myers on Monday.

Against the lefty Happ, Ben Francisco also makes a start. Don't look now, but Francisco is 6 for his last 10. Charlie Manuel wants him to have regular playing time in the season's final two weeks so he is sharp for a bench role in October.

The lineup:

1. Jimmy Rollins 6
2. Placido Polanco 5
3. Hunter Pence 9
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. John Mayberry Jr. 8
6. Ben Francisco 7
7. Carlos Ruiz 2
8. Michael Martinez 4
9. Cole Hamels 1


In a postseason Game 7, who would you want to be the Phillies starting pitcher?

UPDATE 7:56 p.m.: My apologies. I had Pete Orr as the starting second baseman, but it's Michael Martinez. Again, my apologies.

Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

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