The call came just before 10 o'clock tonight. Bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer answered. Brad Lidge was already beginning to get loose, still wearing his warm up jacket but stretching his legs for what until now had been the inevitable notification that the save situation was his.
But this time, Billmeyer relayed the message to Ryan Madson, who Tuesday night relieved Lidge with the bases loaded and one out in a 5-3 game, retiring the final two batters to record the save. Madson walked to the mound to warm-up. Lidge, meanwhile, disappeared beneath the stands, then re-emerged a few moments later. He took a drink of water, then walked to join the rest of the relievers seated in plastic folding chairs as Madson readied to enter the game.
Is Ryan Madson the new Phillies closer, replacing a struggling Lidge who has blown 10 saves while posting an ERA of more than a touchdown? He was tonight.
After allowing a leadoff single to Justin Maxwell, he struck Cristian Guzman out looking, then got Adam Dunn to line into a game-ending double play, preserving the 6-5 victory.