READING – Phillies General Manager Reuben Amaro Jr. and three of his assistants settled in behind home plate yesterday.
If they were looking for pitching relief, they were greatly disappointed as J.A. Happ struggled in his rehab start for the Reading Phillies.
Happ gave up four runs in just 2 innings of work for the R-Phils who roared back to top the San Francisco's Double-A team, the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 7-5.
"I got through it, I threw my pitches, but obviously I wasn't that sharp especially with off-speed stuff," Happ said.
Happ got through the first two batters with ease but plunked Giant prospect Thomas Neal. Neal then stole second and Happ walked the next hitter Brandon Crawford. That signaled the type of outing that Happ was going to have.
"It's something where you go in spurts like Spring Training when the ball's not coming out quite right, you just gotta keep throwing through it," Happ said.
He was able to get out of the first two innings without giving up a run, but fell apart in the third inning. Darren Ford led off with a double and was driven in on Neal's two run blast that put the Squirrels up 2-0.
"It was supposed to be a cutter in and it just spun up there," Happ said. "It made a loud noise when he hit it and went out of the park."
The next three batters would single, scoring two more runs to give Richmond a 4-0 lead. Reading manager Steve Roadcap made the slow walk to the mound to pull Happ after his 57th pitch.
"After being down so long it will take a little bit of time to get that arm speed back where I am feeling crisp and popping some balls better," Happ said. "On a positive note, I felt okay. Physically I feel fine."
Happ will travel to New York where he will pitch his bullpen session and then be evaluated to see what the next step will be.
"That's not for me to decide, it's up to the Phillies," Happ said.
Ty Taubenheim put out the fire for the R-Phil by pitching 3 scoreless innings to pick up the win. Tag Bozied (3-for-4) with a solo home run and three RBI paced the Reading offense that scored the winning runs in a four-run sixth inning.