Happ Ends Interrupted Season On High Note

Phillies' pitching prospect J.A. Happ was promoted from the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws to the Double A Reading Phillies this weekend and made his first career AA start with the club on Sunday. All went well as Happ appears headed for good things in the not too distant future.

With his sister and her boyfriend friend on hand, J.A. Happ threw six solid frames, while allowing only three hits, one run, two walks, and finding time to strike out eight hitters.

"I felt fine on the mound, but I kind of felt a little bit out of whack," Happ said. "I wasn't able to get ahead in the count like I had my last four or five starts. I was able to make the pitches when and where I needed to the most."

"It was a great experience for me. I was able to get my feet wet pitching here at Double A. The guys on the team made it comfortable for me. I had known some of them from spring training so it was good to play alongside them."

With the season coming to an end on Labor Day, this was Happ's last start. When the season is over, he will head over to the Instructional League in Florida, which starts in about two weeks.

"J.A. has the makings to be a big league pitcher," Phillies pitching coordinator Gorman Heimueller said. "He is a talented lefty with great stuff and a very deceptive fastball. He has pitched well every time he's gone out. He was injured for quite some time, but he battled his way back each time and performed his best."

"Since Happ has been injured over the course of the season, we will look to use him a lot more than the other pitchers in Instructional League so he gets more experience under his belt and gives him time to improve on stuff he needs to be working on."

The Northwestern graduate had missed parts of the season due to a sore arm and a torn oblique muscle. The 22 year old left-hander had a strong season at Lakewood with a 4-4 record with a 2.36 earned run average and a 70-26 strikeout-walk ratio in 72.1 innings of work.

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