Sunday, August 23, 2009

One Step Forward for Lidge

Amidst the Phillies 4-1 victory last night over the Mets, Brad Lidge took a solid stride forward. Although it is hard to draw any conclusions from one outing, particularly against possibly the league's weakest line-up, Lidge showed command and sharpness that has been often missing in previous games this season. He also displayed a sense of calm in nailing down his 24th save.

J.A. Happ battled through seven innings, working in and out of trouble, to hold the Mets to 1 run. For the second consecutive game, Happ labored a little, but relied on his veteran-like ability to buckle down and strand runners on the bases. He has done this all season, better than any other starting pitcher in the league. His performance earned him the victory, running his record to 10-2 and likely retaining his rookie-of-the-year front runner status.   

After Ryan Madson eased his way through the 8th inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced, Lidge took the mound to open the bottom of the 9th. He quickly dispensed Daniel Murphy, striking him out with a slider down and in. After a fly out, he ended the game by striking out pinch hitter Cory Sullivan on a 95 mph heater.  Overall, he exhibited good velocity and nice downward angle on his slider.

On the offensive side, Chase Utley got the team going after five scoreless innings by launching a 2-run homer into "Utley's corner" to give the Phils a 2-1 lead. The team tacked on a couple more runs on the strength of doubles by Raul Ibanez, Pedro Feliz and Jayson Werth.

With the Braves loss last night, the Phillies regained their 6.5 game margin in the NL East. Importantly, though, they may have taken a step towards re-gaining their closer.  

No comments:

Post a Comment