Lidge: 'I feel ready'

Here is a full report on Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who had an important day for double-A Reading, courtesy of The Inquirer's Chris Melchiorre:

READING — After months of rehab following two off-season surgeries, Brad Lidge seemed relieved Tuesday as he sat in front of reporters and declared himself ready to pitch for the Phillies.

“After tonight, I feel ready,” Lidge said after a two-inning rehab outing for the double-A Reading Phillies. “Being able to use all my pitches effectively, and being where I want to be both velocity-wise and command-wise, I feel like I’m pretty much ready to go. Everything felt really good.”

In two innings, the 33-year-old closer threw 35 pitches, 23 for strikes. Lidge notched four strikeouts, all on off-speed pitches, and hit 89 m.p.h. on the FirstEnergy Stadium radar gun, although Lidge said that the Reading Phillies’ coaching staff had him clocked as high as 93.

Behind flame-throwing righthander Stephen Strasburg, the Harrisburg Senators prevailed, 1-0, in the first game of a doubleheader.

The only baserunner Lidge allowed came on a throwing error by the shortstop. His only three-ball count came on his first batter, when Harrisburg’s Danny Espinosa ran the count full but struck out swinging on an 80-m.p.h. slider.

“For me, tonight, I felt great,” said Lidge, who had knee and elbow surgeries in the off-season. “I felt like I was able to take a little off, put a little on, and basically pitch, instead of just throw the ball.”

There is no official timetable for his return, but the righty hopes to be back by the time the Phillies host the New York Mets on Friday.

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