Brad Lidge shuts down Padres as Phils snap four-game losing streak

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Thumbnail image for brad lidge headshot phillies.jpgSo much for easing him back in. Just two days after it appeared he was in line for a save opportunity against the Braves, Lidge tossed a perfect ninth inning in a 3-2 victory over the Padres on Friday night.

It was Lidge’s first save since his return from the disabled list on Monday and
just his second of the season. It helped preserve Roy Halladay’s eighth win of the year and ended a four-game losing streak for the Fightins.

Lidge looked very sharp, throwing eight of 11 pitches for strikes while sitting down Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley on back-to-back strikeouts to end it. According to Brooks Baseball, he topped out at over 94 mph on his heater, but he was most impressive with his once-dominant slider. If he can be effective with that pitch on a regular basis, it will obviously be a very good sign for the Phillies.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.