Nationals designate reliever Brad Lidge for assignment

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2012 has been a nightmare thus far for Brad Lidge.

First he surrendered seven hits, seven walks and four earned runs in seven innings during the season’s opening month. Then he needed surgery near the end of April to correct a sports hernia and missed six weeks. And now, according to beat writer Amanda Comak of the Washington Times, the veteran reliever has been designated for assignment.

Lidge wound up posting a brutal 9.64 ERA, 2.46 WHIP and 10/11 K/BB ratio across 9 1/3 innings with the Nats.

The 35-year-old seems likely to pass through waivers but should attract interest on the free agent market.

Steven Matz homers in back-to-back starts

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Mets starter Steven Matz helped his own cause again, belting a solo home run in the top of the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Matz turned on a 1-1 breaking ball from Cy Young contender Aaron Nola, breaking a scoreless tie.

Matz also homered in his previous start against the Marlins last Thursday. According to MLB Stat of the Day, he is the third Mets pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts, joining Tom Seaver (1972) and Ron Darling (1989).

Matz is the fourth full-time pitcher to hit multiple home runs this season, joining the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen (four), and the Cardinals’ John Gant and Miles Mikolas (two each). The last Mets pitcher to hit multiple home runs in a season was Noah Syndergaard, who hit three in 2016.

Along with the bat, Matz has also been dealing on the mound. As of this writing, he has held the Phillies scoreless over five innings despite walking five batters and allowing two hits.