will more than likely be back at Citizens Bank Park and available to pitch out of the bullpen Friday when the Mets come to Citizens Bank Park.
Lidge struck out four batters in two innings of work at Double-A Reading. He retired six of the seven batters he faced; the only batter to reach reached on an error.
It was Lidge's sixth straight game without allowing a run. Afterward, he told reporters he was ready for the big leagues.
"After tonight I feel ready,” Lidge said. “Being able to locate and use all of my pitches with where I am velocity-wise, I feel like I’m pretty much ready to go.”
So who would have thunk it - Phillies vs. Mets this weekend could actually be exciting.
After starting the season 4-8 and saddled with their usual run of injuries, the Mets appeared to be dead before the season was two weeks old. But they've won 8 of their last 9 - and 6 games in a row - to move into first place.
How did they get into first, besides winning games, you ask? The Phils have gone bad, capped by Tuesday's night's 6-2 loss to the Giants, their third straight defeat.
Ever since going 8-2 to begin the season (against the Nats and Astros for all but one of those games), the Phils have dropped 7 of 10.
At times, their bullpen has been to blame (like a week ago in Atlanta: Hello Ryan Madson). At other times, the starting pitching (we're looking in your direction, four-home-runs-allowed Cole Hamels).
And the offense hasn't been anything special, either. After averaging 7.5 runs in their first 10 games, the Phils can't even get half of that: they're scoring 3 runs per game.
It's probably easier to break the math down like this: in the first 10 games, they scored 75 runs; in the last 10 games, they've scored 30.
Besides the absence of Jimmy Rollins at the top, there are two other notable reasons the offense has fallen flat: Chase Utley
and Ryan Howard
. They combined for 26 RBIs in the first 10 games and have a combined total of five in the last 10.First 10 games: Utley (.368-6HR-12RBI-4K-11BB) and Howard (.362-3HR-14RBI-5K-2BB).
Last 10 games: Utley (.194-0HR-3RBI-11K-7BB) and Howard (.175-0HR-2RBI-11K-2BB).
While Rollins won't be back to add a much needed spark to a suddenly comatose offense until at least another week to 10 days (that's my best guess, at least), the Phils will have their closer in uniform for the first time in '10. Which is a good thing, right?
Lidge has appeared to corral his command in his recent minor league outings.
Even if Lidge's velocity hasn't climbed higher than 91mph, he usually doesn't see the final big spike until he's gets the jolt from pitching in a big-league environment, with a save on the line.
"The last mark for me, mentally, is to hit the low 90s before I get back up there," Lidge said. "I know in the ninth inning when I get back up there I’ll get a few more miles-per-hour in a save situation in a big-league game.”
Fittingly enough, that could come against the Mets in a series that sounds much more interesting than it did this time last week. Should be fun, right?