Sep 8, 2010, 11:48 AM EST
When the Phillies reclaimed first place in the NL East last night they do so with Ryan Madson finishing up an 8-7 victory, because closer Brad Lidge was unavailable due to a hyper-extended elbow that’s expected to keep him out until at least Friday.
Lidge had elbow surgery last year and has needed multiple cortisone shots this season, but told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that a few days off will be enough to get him ready for the stretch run because “it’s different from what I’ve had before and it’s really not bad at all.”
Lidge struggled in late July, but has a 0.55 ERA, .125 opponents’ batting average, and 18/3 K/BB ratio in 16.1 innings since August 1, looking an awful lot like the dominant force from 2008 instead of the mess from 2009.
Of course, Madson has also been fantastic during that time and in fact has been one of the best relievers in the league since returning from a broken toe in mid-July. He’s appeared in 34 games since coming off the disabled list, posting a 1.60 ERA, .177 opponents’ batting average, and 45/4 K/BB ratio in 33.2 innings.
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