PITTSBURGH -- If the Phillies had any worries about the health of Brad Lidge, they apparently don't anymore. The closer twice had injuries hold him out of action for periods of time last season with the Astros, then twice had offseason surgery on his right knee and began the season on the disabled list. But both from a performance and durability standpoint, Lidge has been nothing short of outstanding since he was activated April 5.More
"I feel real comfortable right now," Lidge said. "I feel like the control's there right now." Heading into Sunday's game against the Pirates, Lidge had not allowed a run in 11 appearances covering 11 innings this season, allowing only five hits and six walks while striking out 12. Opponents were batting only .128 against him and he had six saves in as many opportunities. "That's what we like to see," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "His breaking ball is getting better and so is his fastball. With him pitching like that, we have a chance to have a tremendous bullpen if we keep working it right." On top of all Lidge's numbers and sterling performances, what might be more impressive to the team is the fact he has pitched so often. Lidge -- a closer for four seasons with Houston before being traded to Philadelphia in a five-player deal Nov. 7 -- made five appearances in six days this week, collecting four saves. He pitched three consecutive days on April 20-22, had one night off, then saved back-to-back contests Thursday and Friday in Colorado and Pittsburgh, respectively. "Obviously, occasionally I need a day of rest, but physically I'm feeling pretty good right now," Lidge said after Friday's game. "That's definitely really encouraging for me with what happened in Spring Training. But I do feel good right now physically."
Chris Adamski is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less