Lidge blows 23rd blown save of season to finish off Braves
Updated: August 17, 2009

By Zaki,

Brad Lidge’s season-long struggles continued last night as he notched his 23rd blown blown save of the season by pitching to one batter in the final frame.

With the Phillies up 4-1 in the ninth inning, Scott Eyre retired the first two batters he faced, but walked Greg Norton to load first base. Sensing an opportunity for Lidge to blow the three-run lead, Charlie Manuel brought him in to face Omar Infante for the final out. The Phils closer allowed a shallow pop-up by Infante to close the game and renew concerns about his ability to post crooked numbers in the clutch.

“I feel like my mechanics are there, but unfortunately, luck was on my side and Omar [Infante] couldn’t get the fat part of the bat on it,” said Lidge after the game. “I think I just need more time and opportunities. Charlie only had me out there for one out. Maybe if he brought me in for the 8th or even the 7th inning, I could get the job done and get a good 12 or so runs on the board.”

Manuel explained his decision to bring in Lidge for the final out was planned out ahead of time.

“Lidgey’s role on the team now is obviously to blow leads, but there may be a few games we might want to win between now and the end of the season,” Manuel said on Monday. “Last night was one of those games. Plus, we had an opportunity to get him an actual save. We were close to letting Scotty [Eyre] get two strikes on that last batter and bring in Lidge for the last one, but we didn’t want to risk Scotty getting one of Lidgey’s well-earned saves by getting a ground-out or something.”

Zaki is the Chief Rocka and senior writer for

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