08/03/11 8:25 PM ET
Lidge earns first save of '11, No. 100 with Phils
Feat comes after four months on DL, in front of family, friends
By Nick Kosmider / MLB.com
The save was especially sweet for Lidge for several reasons. It was his first this season since making his 2011 debut on July 25 after four months on the disabled list with a right posterior rotator cuff strain. The milestone also came in front of friends and family, as Lidge played his high school baseball at nearby Cherry Creek High School.
"It's nice to do it at home, for sure," Lidge said. "I felt good."
With Phillies closer Ryan Madson unavailable on Wednesday -- he traveled to Los Angeles to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple's fourth child -- Lidge said he was prepared to take the ball in the ninth.
"I knew that if [Madson] was gone, I could definitely be closing the game tonight," Lidge said. "I'm also ready to throw in the seventh, so whatever Charlie [Manuel, manager] needs me to do, like I've said before, I'll be happy to do. But I was happy to get in [the closer] role tonight. It feels good for me to be in that role."
Manuel was impressed with the outing from Lidge, who recorded a strikeout in the 1-2-3 ninth."We wanted to work Lidge in where he could have confidence and feel free and go out there and pitch," Manuel said. "He did a good job today. His command was good."
Manuel said "there's a chance" Madson could rejoin the team in San Francisco on Thursday. When Madson does return, he will continue in his role as the team's regular closer.
"We're just now getting Madson back to where we want him," Manuel said. "Madson is our closer right now."
Still, it doesn't hurt to have an experienced reliever like Lidge capable of stepping into that role. The right-hander said he is pleased with the progression of his slider and believes his fastball is close to returning to form.
"I can tell it's getting real close to where I want it to be," Lidge said. "I need to keep running out there and keep going."
Nick Kosmider is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.