Fastball, Fastball, Fastball: Getting Lidge on Track
Let’s take a look at Brad Lidge‘s Grapefruit League appearances since he joined the Phillies before the 2008 season:
- 2008: 0
- 2009: 9
- 2010: 0
- 2011: 5 (so far)
Lidge is healthy this spring, which hasn’t been the case in previous springs. He is hopeful his good health this year will put him in position to have a successful season. But for the moment he is searching for his fastball. He allowed three hits, two runs and one walk in one inning today against the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Lidge is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA (five earned runs in five innings) this spring.
“It comes down to this,” he said afterward. “It’s a pretty easy assessment so far. I feel like I can throw my slider on a dime, in and out of the zone, up and down where I need to. My fastball is garbage. It’s that simple.”
Lidge threw 20 pitches to Orioles hitters. He threw 19 fastballs.
“I have to work on my fastball,” Lidge said. “I’m not sure what my stats are, but Spring Trainings have been very ugly for me as a general rule. I take a while to ramp up velocity and control on my fastball. Even with being healthy it takes a while. Hopefully I’ll get a few more outings and get where I need to be. If I don’t feel good on March 31 I still don’t care. If I don’t feel good on April 1 then I care.”
“Tell them not to worry,” Charlie Manuel said about fans concerned about Lidge’s spring numbers. “I ain’t going to worry.”