Perhaps forgotten in last night’s scrum between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants was the continued success of rookie pitcher Vance Worley and outfielder John Mayberry Jr.

Worley, who was put in the rotation due to an injury to the Phillies’ fifth starter, Joe Blanton, plowed through the Giants lineup for the second time in less than a month, giving up just two earned runs in the process.

It is the ninth game in a row the Phils have won with Worley on the mound. During that span, he has given up more than two runs just once, when facing the Pittsburgh Pirates in late July.

The 23-year-old right-hander has quickly become the Phils greatest surprise this season, holding an exceptionally impressive 2.35 ERA with eight wins and just one loss.

Some skeptics have quickly pointed to Kyle Kendrick and former Phillie J.A. Happ, two pitchers who had great rookie seasons that were followed by major disappointment.    

In 2007, Kendrick had a solid 3.87 ERA and was a major contributor to Philadelphia’s division-title run. Since his rookie campaign and his poor performance in the 2007 NLDS, Kendrick has not lived up to the initial expectations some fans had for him.

His ERA since 2007 is 4.62, highlighted by a sophomore year in which his ERA skyrocketed to a whopping 5.49.

Happ had an even better rookie year than Kendrick, going 12-4 with an ERA of 2.93. The young southpaw, who was injured for most of 2010, was traded at last year’s trade deadline for ace Roy Oswalt.

In his first full year with Houston, Happ has gone 4-14 with an ERA of 6.26.

Last night, while Worley was dominating the defending world champions, Happ was busy recovering from a shellacking at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers, a game in which Milwaukee scored six runs in just four innings.

It was the 10th time this year Happ had given up more than five earned runs in a game and the eighth start in a row in which he has done so.  

A drop off similar to that of Kendrick or even Happ is definitely a possibility going forward for Worley, or the “Vanimal,” as fans have come to call him. He is probably not an ace who can lead a club to the promised land; he just doesn’t have the stuff for it.

But, he should remain a solid fourth or fifth starter in the rotation, and in Philadelphia, where they are already full of aces, that’s all he really needs to be for the next few years.

On the other side of last night’s game was Mayberry, who continues to carry a hot bat.

The right-handed slugger hit another home run last night, this time against starter Jonathan Sanchez. It was Mayberry’s fourth homer in just over a week and the second in the series against the Giants.

Since being called up from Lehigh Valley on July 5, Mayberry is batting a formidable .311 with 19 hits, 14 of which were for extra bases.

Mayberry has had his fair share of clutch moments this year, winning the first game of the year on a walk-off single and tying last week’s series opener with a home run when the Phils were down to their last strike.

He has quickly become a go-to guy for Charlie Manuel, who continues to place him in the lineup, both as a starter and a pinch-hitter. He has clearly earned his place on the roster and could end up being the power bat off the bench that the Phils were supposedly looking for at the trade deadline.

Only time will tell whether or not the successes of Mayberry and Worley have been flukes.

But, in a period in which the Phillies players are growing older and management has quickly gone into a win-now mode, it’s nice to see that there are still young players remaining in the system who can help this club succeed going forward.

Read more MLB news on