Reliever Brad Lidge said he felt good after his fourth rehab appearance and his goal is to return to the Phillies by the homestand that begins July 22.
In his fourth rehab appearance, Lidge pitched one inning, striking out the first two batters and then inducing a popout yesterday for Double A Reading in a 7-6 win over Trenton. He threw 13 pitches, nine for strikes.
Lidge, who has missed the entire season with a shoulder injury, bounced back after blowing a save for Lakewood on Saturday. He allowed a one run on three hits with two strikeouts. He had pitched scoreless innings in his two previous appearances for Lakewood.
“There’s a few things that I have to make sure are right before I want to get back with the Phillies,” he said. “I want to make sure Charlie knows he can run me out there every day if he has to and depend on me in every situation.”
Among those things are throwing on back-to-back days, the velocity on his fastball and command with his slider, although he said, “I feel good right now.”
“It’s come a little quicker than I thought it might,” he said. “I didn’t want to set myself up for a disappointment. It’s been a long road. I definitely feel like I need a few good more outings ...
“It’s a matter of keep working hard every single day on my rehab stuff and staying with my program every day. It's been difficult to be patient. It's starting to feel like it's paying off because everything is going so good."
Lidge is expected to remain with Reading following the All-Star break.
When he does return to the Phillies, his role is a question. Lidge has continuously lauded the current relievers.
“In my mind, at some point, I want to close again,” Lidge said. “It doesn’t have to be this year. I want to get myself ready to do that. Anything can happen. Obviously we’ve had a lot of injuries …
“I want to make sure we get to the World Series and win the World Series. Whatever is the best scenario for our team, I'll be comfortable doing this year. We'll see how it plays out. The only thing I can do is get myself ready to throw whenever Charlie needs me.”
Matt Rizzotti hit a walkoff homer in the 11th inning for the victory.
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