The Phillies had a couple options last night against the Braves at Turner Field: start lefthander J.A. Happ or righthander Kyle Kendrick.
They chose Happ and it paid off.
He threw six shutout innings in a 6-1 victory to keep the Phillies in first place in the National League East with just 10 games to play. Charlie Manuel wouldn't confirm it, but you have to think Happ will be starting Monday against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
How could they not start him?
"I definitely wanted to prove I could do it," Happ said. "I thought I could do it all along. It's about getting opportunities and taking advantage of them."
That holds true for the Phillies. They are tied with the Mets in the loss column. They have an opportunity to sweep the Braves tonight. It's Cole Hamels vs. Mike Hampton. Advantage Phillies? It seems to be. But the Phillies, like Happ, have to take advantage.
In the Phillies Notebook: Pat Burrell remains in the lineup, despite having the second-lowest average in baseball since early August, and Jamie Moyer said fatigue wasn't a factor in Tuesday's struggles.
Pen pals John Gonzalez, Bob Ford and Phil Sheridan discuss Ryan Howard's MVP candidacy.