Closer Brad Lidge is in the house here in Cincinnati. He hopped a flight this morning after pitching in a minor league game in Clearwater last night. Lidge allowed a home run and a double, but he says he thinks his arm is where it needs to be.
If the Phillies are in a save situation tomorrow night (he isn't eligible to come off the DL until tomorrow), he'll pitch.
"Right now my velocity is somewhere around 93," Lidge said. "It is gradually catching up, but that final step isnt going to come until I'm in a major league game."
Manager Charlie Manuel said he'd take Lidge's appearances on a case-by-case basis, depending on how the closer's body feel. Lidge said he thinks he can pitch on back-to-back nights if necesarry.
"I don't think I need to be babied," he said.
It's been raining off and on all night here in Cincinnati, and neither team has taken batting practice. But it looks like they are going to get the game in.
Tom Gordon and Chad Durbin won't pitch tonight, meaning the Phillies bullpen will be pretty thin behind Kyle Kendrick. Durbin has pitched in all three games this season, while Gordon threw 34 pitches last night.
That leaves J.C. Romero as your likely closer. The only other available relievers are Ryan Madson, Clay Condrey, and Tim Lahey.
Lahey, who hasn't pitched since signing with the team after spending spring training with the Cubs, could be the odd man out once Lidge is activated tomorrow.
Manuel isn't worried about the shoddy fielding that has plagued the Phillies.
The Phillies allowed four base runners to reach on errors yesterday, the most since May of 2005.
"Yesterday was a bad day for us," Manuel said. "Of course we didn't catch he ball early. We got sloppy. The only time I'm going to be really concerned andworried about that is if we continue doing that on a regular basis."