Happ looking forward to first '09 start
Phils lefty to start nightcap of Saturday's day-night twin bill
PHILADELPHIA -- J.A. Happ had hoped to be in the Phillies' rotation this season, but he wound up in the bullpen instead.
But Happ will have an opportunity to start Saturday because of a doubleheader against the Nationals at Nationals Park. Right-hander Brett Myers is scheduled to pitch Game 1 in the afternoon, with Happ pitching Game 2 at night.
"I think I'm going to have to take it like I have in the bullpen," Happ said before Thursday's series finale against the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park. "Go one batter at a time, really focus on each hitter and kind of pitch like I'm still relieving. We'll see how long I can go. It's very hard to say. I'm sure pitch count is going to have a lot to do with it."
Happ has thrown three innings or more twice this season, and has thrown 43 pitches or more three times.
The left-hander threw a season-high 50 pitches against San Diego on April 19.
So if Happ could throw 50, it figures he could throw more than that Saturday. Obviously, the more efficient he is, the better it will be for the remaining pitchers in the bullpen.
"Maybe I go Greg Maddux style," Happ said. "I'm definitely looking forward to it. It'll be a good opportunity. Hopefully I can give them some good innings."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.