J.A. Happ pitched six shutout innings to help keep the Phillies perfect at Turner Field and maintain their lead in the National League East.
Following last night's nail-biter, they rewarded us with an easy one. The Phillies rattled Jair Jurrgens (13-10) with four, first-inning runs and never looked back, giving Happ (1-0) enough breathing room to cruise to his first Major League win. Reminiscent of earlier trips to Atlanta, the Braves, an empty shadow of the team picked to win the division by many prominent insiders, looked powerless to mount an attack. Besides Brian McCann and Chipper Jones, there just isn’t much to write home about in Atlanta's arsenal. Omar Infante hit fifth for crying out loud.
Still, Happ earned Chevrolet Player of the Game honors for completing a solid six innings and the Phils came close to completing another shutout. At 85 wins – just one away from my pre-season prediction – pitching continues to be the unforeseen constant.