Phillies lefthander J.A. Happ will start tomorrow night against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
Happ hasn't started since Aug. 26 with triple-A Lehigh Valley and hasn't pitched in a game since Sept. 9, but the Phillies considered him a better option than righthander Kyle Kendrick. It sounds like Adam Eaton wasn't part of the discussions, which probably shouldn't be a surprise considering how he pitched earlier this season for the Phillies and in the minor leagues.
"Probably Kyle's struggles," pitching coach Rich Dubee said, when asked what pushed Happ to the top. "They really haven't seen Happ. He's lefthanded. We thought it was just a little better match up."
The Phillies also need a fifth starter next Monday against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Dubee said Monday's starter hasn't been decided, but I'm guessing if Happ pitches well he would start Monday. Happ said he is looking forward to the opportunity of pitching in a big game in a big part of the season.
"It's definitely exciting," Happ said. "I'm sure it's not their first choice. It just kind of happened because of the doubleheader. They needed somebody."
But they chose Happ because they feel he gives them the best chance to win.
We'll find out tomorrow night.