Rumored to be part of a potential trade with Toronto for ace Roy Halladay that never materialized, Happ is happy to still be with the Phillies and is pitching like it.
The rookie left-hander shook off an early run and lasted seven innings in Philadelphia's 4-1 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday.
"I feel good about going out there with the guys behind me," said Happ, 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA in four August starts. "I'm trying to get a chance to win. I was able to hang around long enough."
Chase Utley hit a two-run homer as part of Philadelphia's three-run sixth inning against New York's bullpen. After Tim Redding held the Phillies to one hit through five shutout innings in a spot start, they broke out against relievers Pat Misch and Sean Green.
Misch (0-1), recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Buffalo, walked Shane Victorino leading off the sixth and then gave up a long homer to right to Utley -- the All-Star second baseman's 26th of the season.
Utley has six homers against the Mets this season, including four at spacious Citi Field.
"It's a big park, one of the biggest in the league, but for most of us up here, if you put the barrel on it and hit it well it'll pretty much go anywhere," Utley said.
Happ (10-2) settled down after allowing Omir Santos' RBI single in the second inning that gave the Mets a 1-0 lead.
He has won three straight decisions, allowing only one run in each of his last two outings. He scattered eight hits over seven innings, walking two and striking out one. He hasn't given up more than two runs in five straight starts and seven of eight.
"I wish you didn't bring that up," Happ said.
Ryan Madson struck out two in the eighth inning, and Brad Lidge got three outs for his 24th save in 32 chances. Lidge earned his 700th major league strikeout when he fanned Daniel Murphy leading off the ninth.
The NL East-leading Phillies bounced back from Friday night's 4-2 loss to the Mets to win for the ninth time in 11 games.
The Mets celebrated the 40th anniversary of their 1969 World Series championship team before the game, but the presence of former stars such as Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan wasn't enough to spark the current club. New York has dropped 13 of 20.
Jeff Francoeur started the Mets' second inning with a double and Fernando Tatis followed with a walk. Happ had a chance to get out of trouble after Murphy grounded into a double play, but Santos singled off the glove of diving third baseman Pedro Feliz to drive in Francoeur.
"You've got to battle through it and you've got to keep throwing all your pitches, otherwise you're going to get in trouble," Happ said. "It might not have been pretty tonight, but I'll take it as a positive."
Redding was sent to the bullpen in July after going 1-3 with a 6.99 ERA in nine starts this season. He got the call Saturday because scheduled starter Livan Hernandez was released earlier this week to make room for reliever Billy Wagner.
"He gave us much more than we expected," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "When he came in he was fatigued. He gave us a good shot."
Manuel said before the game that Redding would be limited to 60-70 pitches, but he was stretched to 81 because of his effectiveness. Redding allowed only a third-inning single to Utley and three walks in five innings, and struck out four.
"I was taxed," Redding said. "I hadn't thrown more than 50 pitches in a month. Could I have gone one more? Probably. Would it have been the right choice? Who knows?"
Misch was brought up to add bullpen depth in case Redding didn't last long. However, it was Misch whose night was short. After Utley's homer, Misch got Ryan Howard to ground out before giving way to Green.
- Victorino and Mets OF Gary Sheffield both barely missed home runs in the first inning as their drives landed just foul.
- The Mets recalled Misch and designated INF Andy Green for assignment. Misch is 0-8 in four major league seasons.
- Utley has three homers and nine RBI in his last 10 games.
- Misch had a 2.51 ERA in 13 relief appearances with the Mets earlier this season.
- Angel Pagan and Luis Castillo both had two hits off Happ.
- Phillies starters went 26 innings without issuing a walk until Tatis earned a pass in the second.
- The Mets used seven pitchers.