Turning Things Around?
He has allowed just two hits, no walks and has struck out four in 4 1/3 innings. Most important, he is 4-for-4 in save opportunities.
In 13 appearances from June 19 to July 31, Lidge went 1-1 with an 8.49 ERA and six saves in 10 opportunities. He allowed 13 hits and 11 walks and struck out 14 in 11 2/3 innings in that stretch. That did not inspire much confidence in Phillies fans, who watched Lidge suffer terribly last season.
“I feel great,” Lidge said after picking up the save today against the Mets. “I feel like I have my best control. Really, since the All-Star break I’ve felt pretty good. I had an off game in Washington (on July 31, when he allowed three runs in 1/3 inning). But I’ve been able to put the ball on both sides of the plate. I think that’s the key.”
Lidge also said consistent work is key, and he has gotten that recently.
But we’ll have to see more from Lidge to know if this is an upward trend or just a flash. (He had similar flashes last season, but eventually reverted to his struggles.) Lidge isn’t throwing as hard as he has in the past, but if he can command his pitches maybe he can enjoy the success of a younger Lidge, who threw in the upper 90s.