PHILADELPHIA -- After walking the only batter he faced on Friday night, Josh Lindblom stayed up until about 3:30 in the morning studying video to try to pinpoint what was wrong. He spoke with his wife, his parents, and even got a call from coach Ken Howell, his bullpen coach with the Dodgers.
Lindblom ended up making a mechanical tweak on his shoulder rotation with the help of Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee. It paid off big time in Sunday's series finale against the first-place Nationals.
With closer Jonathan Papelbon unavailable after pitching three straight days, Lindblom got the final five outs of the game to earn his first career save. The right-hander needed just 13 pitches and struck out three of the five Nationals he faced.
"That was big by him," starter Cliff Lee said. "He filled up the strike zone. Didn't really give them a chance to do anything."
Added manager Charlie Manuel: "That might have been the best I've seen him."
With the Dodgers, Lindblom went 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA. But since the Phillies acquired him on July 31 as part of the Shane Victorino trade, Lindblom had struggled with command and too often fell behind in counts. He entered Sunday 0-1 with a 7.88 ERA with Philadelphia.
After adjusting how much he was rotating his shoulders in his windup, his command was much improved on Sunday.
"[It] feels great," said Lindblom, the first 2012 Phillie not named Papelbon to record a save. "Since I came over, I've struggled mechanically. I think I've tried to maybe justify this trade and try to do more than I'm capable of, instead of just being myself."
With a great outing behind him, Lindblom hopes to continue the success he had on Sunday and be more consistent moving forward.
Said Lindblom with a smile, "I'll probably sleep a little bit better tonight."