Lights on for resilient Lidge

In 2008, Brad Lidge was untouchable.

As the Phillies were en route to their first World Series title in 28 years, Lidge was on his way to a 48-for-48 performance. He converted all 41 saves in the regular season and then went 7-for-7 in the postseason, including Game 5 of the World Series.

Lidge dropped to his knees and reached toward the sky in celebration after the Phillies downed the Tampa Bay Rays.

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However, in the three years since, Lidge hasn’t quite been the same. One injury after another has hampered him.

But the right-hander has never lost confidence or his will to compete. While Lidge isn’t likely to regain his role as the team’s closer, he showed he can still fill in when needed, notching his first save since last season in Wednesday’s 8-6 win at Colorado. The 1-2-3 frame included a strikeout, and Lidge’s slider flourished.

“I feel very good physically,” said Lidge, who has a 2.45 ERA in five appearances this season. “My slider has been pretty good. Now, I’m trying to get the velocity up on my fastball. I’m very encouraged overall.”

Lidge had eight rehab appearances at Class-A Lakewood and Double-A Reading. Some outings were better than others.

The point was to regain his control while facing live hitters.

“It’s been a long road back,” Lidge said. “I want to do everything I can to help the club. Whatever Charlie [Manuel] and Rich [Dubee] need from me, I’ll do it. We have the talent to win a title. That’s the goal. I want to be part of it.”

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