J. A. Happ continues to make a strong case to be the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year. He's now 9-2 with a very respectable 2.66 ERA. Last night, even though Happ didn't have his best stuff--he issued six walks and hit a batter--he still held the Atlanta Braves to a single run in 7 2/3 innings pitched. Happ has now had 15 starts since joining the rotation at the end of May, and he's been the Phillies most consistent starter since then. He's beaten some of the best teams in the National League, including a shutout of the Rockies. Without his 9 wins, the Phils would not be in first place, and he's been critical to stopping some of the losing streaks that the Phillies have endured this year.
It's easy to see why the Toronto Blue Jays were so insistent on Happ being included in any deal for Roy Halladay, and it's likewise easy to see and understand why Ruben Amaro was so insistent that he hang on to Happ. Personally, I'm glad that the deal fell through, that the Phils kept Happ, and that they got Cliff Lee instead.
Each time he goes out to pitch, Happ makes a stronger and stronger statement about being named the National League's Rookie of the Year. He could end up with as many as 15 wins before it's all said and done if he continues to pitch as effectively as he has.