Struggling Lidge designated for assignment by Nationals

Lidge
Lidge
Posted: June 19, 2012

THE WASHINGTON Nationals designated struggling reliever Brad Lidge for assignment Sunday and activated reliever Ryan Mattheus.

Lidge signed a $1 million, 1-year contract as a free agent in the offseason to add bullpen depth, but the 35-year-old righthander couldn't find the form that made him a two-time All-Star with Houston and the Phillies. He went 0-1 with two saves and a 9.64 ERA in 11 appearances with the Nationals.

Lidge allowed three runs in Washington's 7-2 loss to the Yankees on Friday and was the losing pitcher against New York on Saturday, giving up two runs in the 14th inning of a 5-3 defeat.

"Brad wasn't performing very well," Nats GM Mike Rizzo said, "and Mattheus was ready to come off the rehab assignment. We thought this was the right time to make the move."

Rizzo spoke with Lidge before Sunday's game.

"He handled it like the professional that he is," Rizzo said. "After his performance [Saturday] night, he told me kind of knew there would be some kind of move in the bullpen. He said he was disappointed in the way that he pitched and sorry he couldn't turn out better."

Lidge was sharing the closing duties with Henry Rodriguez, but a sports hernia sent Lidge to the disabled list in late April. He was reinstated June 7.

Lidge has 225 career saves, and helped the Phillies win the 2008 World Series by going the entire regular season and postseason without blowing a save.

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