Lidge gets closer

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Brad Lidge retired the side in order in his inning at Lakewood on Wednesday. (Ryan McFadden/AP Photo, Reading Eagle)

Brad Lidge made what might be his final rehab appearance today, pitching a scoreless eighth inning for Lakewood in a South Atlantic League game.

Lidge, who has not pitched all season for the Phillies, retired the three batters he faced with two groundouts and a strikeout. He threw 10 pitches, seven for strikes.

Lakewood scored five runs in the bottom of the inning to win, 8-2.

"Everything feels good, finally,'' Lidge said. "My slider feels great right now. As I always say, that's a real important pitch for me. That's normally how I get guys out.''

Lidge has made eight rehab appearances, four with Reading and four with Lakewood. With Reading, he allowed two runs in 3.2 innings pitched. With Lakewood, he allowed one run with four strikeouts in four innings.

Lidge expressed confidence in a fastball that has lacked velocity throughout his rehab stint.

"One of the most important things for me is not just velocity, but the downward angle on the fastball and obviously command of it," he said. "If I've got those two things going and the velocity goes up even one mile an hour when I get back to Philadelphia, I'll be fine.''

He is hoping to rejoin the Phillies when they return home Friday to face San Diego.


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