Lidge welcomes a positive omen

Posted: August 24, 2009

NEW YORK — Even a guy who says he doesn't believe in luck felt lucky after Eric Bruntlett yesterday became the second player in major-league history to end a game with an unassisted triple play.

"Hopefully, the luck has flip-flopped now," said Brad Lidge, whose 25th save in the Phillies' 9-7 win over the Mets was as odd as they come. "At times this year, the ball hasn't bounced the way you expect it to, but Lady Luck changed. Hopefully."

So far this season, Lidge has been as unreliable a closer as he was reliable last season, when he did not blow a save. He has squandered eight chances this season and is the Phils' biggest concern as they try to retain their World Series championship.

He looked like the Lidge of 2008 on Saturday night, when he had a 1-2-3 ninth inning with two strikeouts in a 4-1 win. Yesterday, he was brought in to protect a 9-6 lead.

After Lidge's first three pitches, the Mets had a run and the Phils had two errors. One was a three-base error by Ryan Howard on a hard-hit ball down the first-base line. The other was a bobble by Bruntlett.

But Lidge got the save when Bruntlett, who happened to be near second base because the Mets were trying a double steal, nabbed a hot line drive and got his name in the record books.

"I don't really believe in luck a whole lot, but sometimes you feel unlucky and sometimes you feel lucky," Lidge said. "The thing I'm happy about with myself is I'm not walking leadoff guys now."

Asked about Lidge, manager Charlie Manuel said, "I think that's a good omen for Brad."

Dobbs on DL

Greg Dobbs' strained left calf muscle is more serious than originally thought, so the Phillies placed him on the 15-day disabled list. The infielder was pulled from the lineup early in Friday night's game.

The Phillies recalled infielder Miguel Cairo from triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace Dobbs and moved lefthander Antonio Bastardo to the 60-day DL to make room for Cairo on the 40-man roster.

The well-traveled Cairo, 35, played in 15 games for the Phillies early in the season before he was sent down. He was 2 for 17, an average of .118. At Lehigh Valley, Cairo hit .287, with five home runs and 33 RBIs, and played second, third, and shortstop.

"I guess you humble yourself a little bit - and I was having a good time," said Cairo, who is in his 16th season in the majors and is with his eighth team. "I'm just glad to be back. I think I proved to some people I can still play."

Bastardo, who made five starts for the Phillies before he went on the DL with a strained left shoulder in late June, is scheduled to make his first rehab start today with the rookie-level Gulf Coast Phillies.

Lodged and dislodged

Centerfielder Shane Victorino said he did not play a ball hit by the Mets' Angel Pagan because he assumed it was a ground-rule double since it was lodged under the fence.

As Pagan was halfway to third base, leftfielder Raul Ibanez got the ball and threw it to the infield, but by then Pagan was on his way to an inside-the-park homer.

"My understanding is, when a ball is lodged, it's automatically a dead ball," Victorino said. "So I threw my hands up, and all of a sudden I saw the ball get fired in and I'm thinking, 'What just happened?' "

Victorino said he was told by the umpire that it's a judgment call on whether a ball lodged under a fence is playable. Ibanez appeared to answer that question.

Manuel told Victorino he should have picked up the ball, but the manager also said the issue of a ball lodged under the fence was raised in the pregame discussion of ground rules.

"If it's lodged and you let it stay there, the umpire rules on it," Manuel said. "If you pick it up, it's in play. You figure that one out. He elected not to pick it up."

Rehabbing pitchers

Relievers Clay Condrey and J.C. Romero will throw in bullpen sessions today at the club's spring-training complex in Clearwater, Fla.

Condrey has not pitched since July 22 because of a strained muscle in his left side, which landed him on the DL for the second time this season.

Romero has been out since July 19 with a strained left forearm.

Extra bases

Manuel said he might give shortstop Jimmy Rollins today off when the Phillies conclude the four-game series against the Mets.

Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or

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