Ran into Brad Lidge in the clubhouse today. The Phillies threw the injured closer up to Philadelphia for the game. He'll return to Clearwater in time to pitch in a minor game tomorrow.
"When they told me I went on the DL, I was a little disappointed, but i was hoping there was still a way I could get up here," Lidge said. "There's no where else in the world I'd rather be right now."
Lidge said his fastball is registering around 92 mph on the radar gun. He has two more outings scheduled in Florida. By the time he comes off the disabled list Saturday, he's hoping to add a couple more miles to that speed.
Lidge said he expects to fly to Cincinnati Friday and be ready to pitch Saturday.
"I'm happier now than I was a week ago," said Lidge, who had arthroscopic knee surgery Feb. 25. "I know my last couple clicks aren't going to come until i get in a major league game, but it's important for me that I know my arm strength is getting back to where it needs to be."
Philly mayor Michael Nutter will throw out the first pitch.
It's 2:19 p.m. and the tarp is off the field. The windows in the press box have been removed - it's still hovering around 47-50 degrees, but it isn't terrible. There doesn't appear to be any perciptiation, and the skyline is a little more visible than it was a couple of hours ago. As long as the rain holds off, it shouldn't be too bad of a day for baseball, all things considered.
Jayson Werth will start in right field. That surprises me. I was convinced yesterday that manager Charlie Manuel was leaning toward starting Geoff Jenkins, who has more experience than Werth and has been hitting a lot better lately. But Manuel seems set on sending Werth out against left-handers (Nationals' southpaw Matt Chico is scheduled to start today), against whom he hit .375 last season.
Werth struggled in spring training, but he struggled last year and managed to perform well for most of the regular season.